Turns Out the Megacomet Is More Than 80 Miles Wide—and It’s Headed Our Way


image© Provided by The Daily Beast NASA, ESA, Man-To Hui (Macau University of Science and Technology), David Jewitt (UCLA); Image processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI) Last year, the monstrous Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet (also known as C/2014 UN271) was discovered by the eponymous University of Pennsylvania astronomers Gary Bernstein and Pedro Bernardinelli.The pair called it the “nearly spherical cow of comets” in their paper about the discovery , but it wasn’t long until the world dubbed it the “ megacomet ” for being an absolute unit of a space object.

While the megacomet fell out of the main space news spotlight, NASA astronomers set the the Hubble Space Telescope’s sights on the object in the months since—and discovered how truly immense it is.A new paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters on Tuesday confirmed that Bernardinelli-Bernstein had a nucleus—the icy core at the center of all comets—that’s more than 80 miles wide.That’s roughly 50 times larger than other comets and the largest ever observed..

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