Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet

  • IASbaba
  • April 18, 2022
  • 0
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Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet

Part of: GS-Prelims

Context: National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed that the huge Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet is indeed the largest icy comet nucleus ever seen by astronomers.

  • The icy nucleus stretches about 80 miles (129 kilometers) across.
  • While frigid, this temperature is warm enough to allow carbon monoxide to sublimate (a process during which solid material becomes gas) off the comet’s rocky surface, creating a “coma,” an envelope of dust and gas that surrounds a comet’s solid center.
  • This comet, being so far from Earth and originating in the farthest-flung reaches of our solar system, is thought to travel on a 3-million-year-long elliptical orbit around the sun. Scientists think that it might travel about half a light-year away from the sun in the farthest parts of its orbit.

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