Ο comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein, a comet-monster as characterized by its size, it is monitored by astronomers as it orbits the Sun.
Earlier this year, during the analysis of data collected by Dark Energy Survey, two astronomers discovered something that could be the largest comet we have ever seen in the solar system. Scientists themselves have begun a new study that describes this monster comet as "nearly spherical cow of comets".
The comet has been recorded as Comet C / 2014 UN271 but it is also known as a comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein. This name comes from the two scientists who discovered it, the Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein. Both work with the University of Pennsylvania.
Preliminary estimates indicate that the comet is 125 miles (200 km) wide, but the study, which was submitted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and was published Monday in draft format in preXprint repository arXiv, sets the probable diameter close to 93 miles (150 km). It is a huge comet, as this size suggests one mass, 10 times that of comet Hale-Bopp, who became known as the Great comet of 1997.
The astronomer Will Gater collected images from various other large objects in the solar system, to give a picture about how big this comet-monster is.
According to estimates, Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is much larger than bigger moon of Mars. In fact, scientists say that if the two natural satellites of Mars are placed side by side, Phobos and Deimos, they will look small again, since this comet-monster will be twice the size.
However Earth no need to worry about the giant space object. Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is not going to collide with our planet. Currently is directed towards the inner solar system and will make its closest passage from the Sun in 2031. It will certainly be a very interesting observation for scientists in the coming years. In fact, it has already begun to attract attention after a sharp increase in its brightness reported by the Las Cumbres Observatory earlier this month.