A super-huge comet is hurtling through space towards solar system

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Sep 28, 2021, 11:47 AM IST

Interstellar comet Borisov Photograph:(Twitter)

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The comet is bigger than two moons of Mars. If Mars's moons are lined up, the comet will still be bigger than that. NASA is keeping an eye on its trajectory

Talk about comets or asteroids coming anywhere near us and mind immediately goes back to what happened to dinosaurs. It just needed a space rock to end the reign of those fearsome reptiles who dominated nearly the entire foodchain. The asteroid that killed dinosaurs was just 10 kilometres across. But now a comet larger than Mars's moons is speeding up toward the solar system. 

Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet is a mammoth! Remember Hale-Bopp? The comet that went around us in the year 1997? It was called a massive comet. And Bernardinelli-Bernstein is 10 times the mass of Hale-Bopp.

In fact it is larger than both moons of Mars. If you line-up these moons, the comet would still be twice the size!

Such a mega thing is coming towards our solar system!

NASA is currently monitoring the comet and we may get better idea about it as it comes nearer. But that comet has already begun to put on a show!

Recently, Las Cumbres Observatory reported that the comet is getting brighter and brighter. This is happening as it gradually comes towards us through space.

Just like its size, the comet has an orbit that has a superhuge diameter. As per calculations from Bad Astrnomy, the comet goes from being about 1.6 billion km away from the Sun to a mind-boggling 2 trillion kilometres away from the Sun. To put things in perspective, this is a fifth of a light-year!

The comet is expected to make closest approach to the Sun in the year 2031 and it will be comfortably away from Earth when it passes through the solar system. Humanity gets another chance!