A ‘super comet’ is coming from the outer part of our solar system which was believed to be a dwarf planet for its size. It will not go very close to the Sun and will pass near Saturn. Scientists are very excited to study it because its size is huge and the distance is also short which is rare. This comet is coming from part of the name Oort Cloud, which is very important to study in itself and can also reveal many mysteries of the solar system.
Why is this comet important?
This comet has not come to the solar system for three million years. We don’t know much about the outer part of the solar system yet. Therefore, scientists are more interested in the objects coming from there. The comet was discovered by University of Pennsylvania astronomer Gary Bernstein and his team. He has given more information about this in the new paper. The paper states that C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein) has not previously come closer than 18 astronomical units to the Sun.
at what distance?
The team has found in its analysis that it started its journey towards the sun at a distance of 40,400 AU. It comes in Oort Cloud. This part goes between two thousand and one million AU and is home to icy objects. When it was discovered it was at a distance of 29AU. It is believed that it will be closest to the Sun in 2031 after 10 years at 10.97AU.
Why is it being watched?
Its size is 155 km diameter but due to the distance it will be visible only with the help of telescopes. Studying it is special because it is believed that these icy rocks have not changed much since the formation of the Solar System 4.5 billion years ago. On the basis of its chemical composition, we will also get to know about the early solar system. It takes 6.12 lakh years, not a few days, to complete one revolution in its orbit. In the last seven years it has been covering a distance of one AU every year.
what are comets? Comets also revolve around the sun like asteroids but they are not rocky but made up of dust and ice. When these comets move towards the sun, their ice and dust turn into vapor, which looks like a tail to us. The special thing is that the comet visible from the earth is actually very far away from us. At the same time, the Oort Cloud is an area where there is gas and dust that revolves around the solar system.
[Attribution to NBT]