The mysterious comet has finally shown its coma

Now an officially marked object C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein) unfortunately flies somewhere beyond the orbit of Jupiter and Saturn, so we can’t look forward to the celestial spectacle.

According to new data, however, it is really a comet, really large with a diameter of about 100 kilometers, which has now shown its coma. Images from Las Cumbres Observatory and in the below we can see how this comet (in the middle of the picture) has around it a nebulous veil, which was called a coma, or gas envelope around the nucleus. Of course, the comet should also have a tail, but we observe it from Earth from a similar angle, where the radiation of the Sun comes from, whose wind creates the tail. That is, if UN271 has it at such a distance at all, it will point away from us and will be difficult to see, but the coma is of course very weak compared to how it could increase in the distance of AU units.


In any case, it is a confirmed comet, which first appeared in astronomical observations in 2014, but it was not discovered until this year in June, when scientists noticed it and re-identified it in older data. Previously, we worked with older dates, when the comet was up to 29 AU away, or basically as far as Neptune, which is true for 2014

Now she has been captured in Las Cumbres at a distance of less than 20 AU, including her coma, ie UN271 is currently about as far away as Uranus. However, it will continue to approach and get closest to us in April 2031, at 10.1 AU, as we can verify here. It will be about 1.5 billion kilometers away, and unfortunately it is still too far to be seen without binoculars.

And that’s a shame, because it’s a comet whose nucleus is more than three times larger than the Hale-Bopp comet discovered in 1995, which was the largest known to date, so the Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet would certainly offer a very interesting spectacle in the sky. However, it will stay in relative proximity for a very long time and it is certain that we will see at least many images from all sorts of binoculars.

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Source: Svět hardware by www.svethardware.cz.

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