The Hubble Space Telescope has helped NASA scientists determine the size of the nucleus of comet C/2014 UN271 Bernardinelli – Bernstein, which was discovered almost 10 years ago.
It turns out that this comet has a giant nucleus – 80 km in diameter, and this is a new record. It is also about 50 times larger than the average size of the nucleus of comets in the solar system and 20 km larger than the previous record holder.
We always suspected that this comet must be large because it is so bright at such a great distance. Now we confirm that it is. It’s an amazing object, considering how active it is at such a distance from the Sun.
The mass of the core is estimated at 500 trillion tons. The object is now about 3.2 billion km from the Sun, and by 2031 it will approach our star at the closest possible distance of about 1.6 million km. The comet poses no threat to Earth.