Largest ever seen comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein travels towards Solar System; Discovery explained

Scientists have discovered that the mega comet named Bernardinelli-Bernstein, one of the largest ever seen in the solar system continues to travel in the direction of Earth. 

With an area of ​​100 km, this comet is 1000 times heavier than a normal comet.  The comet is currently located in the Oort Cloud, billions of kilometers from Earth. However, the comet poses no threat to the Earth and It is likely to pass between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. 

By 2031, the comet will be at the maximum point that is closest to Earth but still will be at a safe distance, scientists said. With the help of telescopes,  Earth will have the opportunity to see the comet at that time. 

 According to the latest estimates, the comet’s length is about 62 miles across, which is 1,000 times bigger than a typical comet. Due to its enormous size, astronomers had mistaken the comet for a dwarf planet when it was discovered in June 2021.

The comet has been named after scientists Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein who discovered it. The comet was first discovered in June and scientists have stated that the comet has an extremely long orbit which is moving inward from a distant orbit cloud for millions of years. Meanwhile, Oort Cloud is home to huge rocks, dwarf planets, and asteroids. 

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“This is an unusual honor for a cosmologist,” Bernstein, an astronomer at the University of Pennsylvania. The discovery of the comet happened during a project called Dark Energy Survey, studying the expansion of the universe was the main aim of the discovery. Since humans haven’t seen the comet before with its earlier approach being over 3.5 million years away, the researchers added that “BB is a ‘new’ comet”.