Largest comet ever discovered is 1,000 times the typical mass

Comets are icy balls which orbit the sun. They release gas when they approach the sun. This gives them their distinctive tail. They typically measure 6 miles in diameter, but scientists recently discovered a megacomet measuring 10 miles.After its discoverers, Gary Bernstein of University of Pennsylvania and Pedro Bernardinelli, the chonky boy was named Comet Bernardinelli Bernstein. It was discovered by them while they were looking at six years of data from the Dark Energy Survey, an international collaboration that maps the expansion of our universe.It measures between 60 and 120 miles in diameter and is approximately 1000 times larger than the average comet. This comet is believed to have come from the Oort Cloud, a region that contains comets located far away from Pluto's orbit. The comet was 40,000 miles away from the sun, which is a measurement known as an astronomical unit (or AU). This is approximately 3.7 trillion miles.Because it is large and reflects lots of sunlight, it was possible to see this comet at 20 AU. Although it is nearing our sun, don't worry, it will not come close to Earth. This is the first time an incoming comet was seen from this far away.Bernstein said that we have the honor of discovering the largest known comet, or at least one that is larger than any other well-studied. We also caught it in time so people could watch its evolution as it warms up. It hasn't visited the Solar System for more than 3,000,000 years.Astronomers will have a better view as the comet approaches the sun. Comets are heated as they approach the sun and their ice starts to melt. This is a great opportunity to observe the comet evolve. In 2031, the comet will be within 11 AU of Saturn.Editors' Recommendations