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Largest comet ever observed has a core 'more black than coal'

Largest comet ever observed has a core ‘more black than coal’

NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / J. da Silva

An illustration of Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein

The 136-kilometre-wide C/2014 UN271 core – named Bernardinelli-Bernstein – is about 50 times larger than the average comet detected so far.

Bernardinelli – Bernstein Not on Earth’s path: Scientists have already ensured that the closest comet to the Sun is at a distance of 1.6 billion km, something that won’t happen until 2031.

But as the object gets closer, astronomers take the opportunity to study it in detail.

Recently, a team of researchers used the Hubble Space Telescope to look at the coma of igneous rocks and directly observe its icy “core”. Observations allowed the scientists to identify a bright spot of light which corresponds to the nucleus of the comet.

according to long live sciencethe team used a computer model to digitally remove the flare, and the resulting data showed that the nucleus is present fifty times greater One of the typical comets seen in the inner solar system.

The analysis also made it possible to determine the color of the comet’s ice core. “It’s big and Blacker than charcoalstudy co-author David Jewett said in a statement.

The comet was first spotted serendipitously in 2010, when it was more than 4.8 billion km from the sun. Since then, Document C/2014 UN271 has attracted the attention of scholars.

With its elliptical orbit, the comet takes more than 3 million years to complete one revolution around the sun. today, Less than 3.2 billion km From our sun, almost perpendicular to the plane of the solar system.

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The Scientific material Posted this month in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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