Biggest comet ever discovered is approaching Earth, arrival date found

Astronomers located what could be the largest comet ever discovered and found that it's heading towards Earth from deep space.

53 seconds read time

Earlier this year astronomers detected what could be the largest comet ever discovered, and it's the first comet on an incoming path with our solar system.

The comet is named Bernardinelli-Bernstein after the astronomers that detected it, Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein, from the University of Pennsylvania. The comet was originally thought to be a dwarf planet due to its immense diameter of 62 - 124 miles, but after further analysis researchers found that it wasn't a dwarf planet, but a large comet travelling from the Oort Cloud.

The researchers performed heavy analysis on the newly discovered comet with data sets from multiple observations. What the researchers found was the comet made its previous closest approach to the Sun around 3.5 million years ago, coming in at a distance of 18 AU (1 AU = the distance between Earth and the Sun - 93 million miles.) Additionally, the researchers were able to predict when the comet will make its closest approach to Earth, and according to the results, Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein will approach the Sun in 2031.

Biggest comet ever discovered is approaching Earth, arrival date found 02

However, Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein will only come as close to Earth as Saturn's orbit, meaning it poses no threat at all to Earth. At the moment the comet is located 1.8 billion miles away near Uranus, and when it makes its closest approach it should be visible for large amateur telescopes.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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