This comet is so large that it was initially thought that it could be a minor planet. The scientists who discovered it in 2014 called it UN271 or Bernardinelli-Bernstein Comet, and it has a length of between 100 and 300 kilometers.
According to the Spanish newspaper El País, the object was identified on June 19 from data captured between 2014 and 2018 by the Inter-American Observatory in Cerro Tololo in Chile, and is about 20 times the average distance between Earth. Sun, but it is estimated that in January 2031 this separation will be reduced by half.
This comet was seen outside Uranus entering the inner solar system on a unique visit 600,000 years ago. It has the largest comet nucleus ever. However, we can rest assured that Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein will not hit Earth.
But it is one of the largest comets ever found, the largest of which is Comet Serabat, known as the “Great Comet of 1729” which was easily visible to the naked eye.
It may be the largest comet observed in the Solar System in modern times when compared to the well-known Comet Hill-Bopp, which became a sight to the naked eye in 1997 with a diameter of about 60 km and Halley’s Comet, at 10 km.
Comet 2014 UN271 was discovered by astronomers Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein using archival data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the near-infrared and light wavelength sky exploration project aimed at investigating the dynamics of Earth’s expansion. The universe and the growth of its large-scale structure.