Scientists Find Largest Comet, 200 Kilometers Wide

The comet will make its closest approach to the sun in 2031.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — Astronomers have discovered biggest comet known. Its size is about a thousand times larger than the others.

The comet is named Bernardinelli-Bernstein. This unusual comet will make its closest approach with Sun in 2031.

Reported from CNN, Tuesday (27/7), the comet is named Bernardinelli-Bernstein. The name was taken from the inventor, graduate student majoring in physics and astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania Pedro Bernardinelli and Professor Gary Bernstein. The comet is between 62 and 124 miles (100 to 200 kilometers) wide. They found comet it in June.

“This unusual comet will make its closest approach to our sun in 2031 but you may need a large amateur telescope to see it,” said University of Pennsylvania Astronomy Pedro Bernardinelli.

He explained that the giant comet, also known as C/2014 UN271, came from the periphery of the solar system and has been heading toward the sun for millions of years. This comet is also the most distant comet in its journey.

Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein was discovered in six years of data collected by the Dark Energy Camera, located on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The data collected by these cameras was entered into The Dark Energy Survey, a collaboration of more than 400 scientists in seven countries and 25 institutions.

“We had the privilege of finding perhaps the largest comet ever seen or at least larger than the well-studied one and capturing it early enough for people to see it evolve as it approached and warmed up,” he said.

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