The image of the largest comet ever found is 50 times larger than that of other comets.


It was revealed on May 26, 2022 by the National Institute of Astronomical Research (NSD). “Astronomer” find out “Comet” The largest ever discovered is about 136 km in diameter, 50 times larger than a typical comet and has a mass of 500 trillion tons.

The image shows the nucleus Comet C / 2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein) Top left image of a comet taken with a wide field camera 3 on January 8, 2022 on the Hubble Space Telescope. Can be used to simulate the structure of comets (part of the coma) as shown on the right.

After that, astronomers compared the brightness of the nucleus. The diameter of the comet was determined with radio wavelength observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA) Telescope in Chile. In addition, the reflection of the nucleus can be measured, and the nucleus is found to be less reflective, indicating that it is black and very dark. (It should be emphasized that it is not easy to measure objects at a distance of 3.2 billion km, or even the separation of solid nuclei from a coated coma. But Hubble can)

Comet C / 2014 UN271 In November 2010, two astronomers, Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein, accidentally discovered Bernardinelli-Bernstein. The comet was 4.8 billion kilometers from the Sun. Closer to Neptune’s orbit, Earth – based telescopes and space telescopes have made more serious observations of the comet.

at this time “Comet” It is less than 3.2 billion kilometers from the Sun. At this point, the comet reaches a temperature of about -176 C, although the temperature is very low, carbon monoxide rises from its surface and forms a coma around the comet. It approaches the Sun from the edge of the Solar System at a speed of 35,000 kilometers per hour. In 2031 it will be closest to the Sun, which is of no concern to our planet. This is because the comet is the closest point to the Sun. It is about 1 billion kilometers away. Or just about Saturn’s orbit.

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Comet C / 2002 VQ94, the largest comet for actual statistics, has a nucleus about 96 km in diameter, discovered in 2002 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project, an asteroid research project.

Comet C / 2014 UN271 is currently the largest comet to date, but only the Hubble Space Telescope has been able to closely observe the comet. In addition, the size of the nucleus can be measured in the future, as technology and equipment in astronomy advance further. We may find many more comets, but we can find even bigger ones.

Comet C / 2014 UN271 It orbits the Sun in an ellipse approximately perpendicular to the level of the Solar System. The orbital period is about 3 million years, the farthest from the Sun. About half a light-year (approximately 4.5 trillion km) away, astronomers call the “Oort Cloud” the theoretical field suggested by John Oort in the 1950s. At a distance of 2,000 to 200,000 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun, it is filled with small ice objects. It is probably the source of many comets.

But so far the Oort cloud is still a theory. This is because these objects are so small that they cannot be observed with a telescope. It can be called the largest structure in the Solar System. But there is no direct evidence for the finding. Even Voyager 1 and 2 are the farthest man-made spacecraft. It will take at least 300 years to enter the Oort Cloud area. It will take another 30,000 years for Oort to pass through the outermost edge of the cloud. It is considered to be a very large and wide area.

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Evidence that comets are entering the inner solar system from all directions. This led astronomers to speculate that the Oort cloud must have a spherical shape surrounding the Solar System. These comets are important clues to help astronomers understand the structure of the solar system billions of years ago.

However, the Oort cloud is a theory that has not yet been observed through observation. Studying these comets will help astronomers to better understand the structure of the Solar System, including the study of astronomy at different wavelengths.

Reveal image "Comet" It is 50 times larger than any other comet ever discovered

Compiled by: Tharadol Chukhev – Astronomical Information Officer, SDR.


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