Last week we told you about a giant asteroid that is expected to enter the Earth's planetary orbit in May of 2022 and then there is that town in Kentucky that was built inside the crater left behind after a meteor struck the planet.

It's Been Falling for Over a Million Years

As if that isn't enough, scientists have now discovered a massive comet that is headed towards this glowing rock that we call the sun. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a giant comet that is heading straight towards the sun and has been for over a million years.

Photo by Eirene Thoms on Unsplash

80 Miles Across - 50 Times and Average Comet

The comet has a diameter of 80 miles, making it the largest comet of its kind ever discovered. According to NASA, this mega comet is 50 times larger than the average comet seen in our solar system.

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Traveling at 22,000 Miles Per Hour

Despite traveling at 22,000 miles per hour in our general direction, it won't actually get near the Earth and NASA says it will only get about one billion miles away from the sun, or just on the other side of Saturn from Earth.

Photo by Renden Yoder on Unsplash

50-Trillion Ton Mass

The comet, known to scientists as C/2014 UN271 and also as Bernardinelli-Bernstein after the astronomers who discovered it, is so big, that it has been determined that the comet has a mass of 50-trillion tons! According to NASA,

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has determined the size of the largest icy comet nucleus ever seen by astronomers. The estimated diameter is approximately 80 miles across, making it larger than the state of Rhode Island. The nucleus is about 50 times larger than found at the heart of most known comets. Its mass is estimated to be a staggering 500 trillion tons, a hundred thousand times greater than the mass of a typical comet found much closer to the Sun.

NASA describes comets as "cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust," and suggests that they are usually the size of a small town. This new comet is 50 times that size!


[Source: NASA]

Must See: Astrophotography Taken Over Southern Illinois Zinnia Field

See beautiful images of the night sky over a zinnia field located in Redelman Orchards located in Southern Illinois. The spectacular photos were captured by Illinois photographers Grant Twiss and John O'Connell.

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