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The largest comet ever discovered, Bernardinelli-Bernstein, is on its way.

Seven years ago, a pair of scientists took high-resolution images of space, peering through a vast cloud of icy objects more than two billion miles from Earth to catch a glimpse of a bright round object.

As if this whole scene wasn’t interesting enough, this thing looks like a huge comet. Thought to be 60 to 100 miles wide, it was. the biggest Comet man has ever seen. And it seemed to be moving towards us, speaking very softly.

Last month, University of Pennsylvania astronomers Gary Bernstein and Pedro Bernardinelli, who discovered the giant temple object, combined their preliminary data with a fresh look at a distant object this summer and confirmed their suspicions.

Yes, this is a megacity. He said, “Comets are almost spherical cows.” His paper, Which he submitted for publication. Astrophysical Journal Letters. On September 23.

In addition to making a great astronomical joke, the Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet is a very rare and unique prize for any scientist trying to collect the history of the solar system. “It’s actually a time machine,” Amy Menzer, an astronomer and cometist at the University of Arizona, told the Daily Beast. The comet’s journey is a lifelong opportunity for scientists to learn about the conditions of the solar system and the building blocks that could one day lead to Earth and its entire life.

A comet is a visitor returning from a collision of space rocks that created almost everything in the corner of the earth and our space long ago. “The comet’s story will tell us what was in the solar system billions of years ago, and we can use it to understand what we see elsewhere in the solar system today,” Bernardinelli told the Daily Beast. ”

But every comet we’ve been lucky enough to study so far has changed a lot over time – either because they were too small to avoid falling apart, or because They passed so close to the sun that they were in the intense heat of the star. Their chemistry means that it tells about the early days of the solar system, to say the least, modified by external forces. ۔

Bernardinelli-Bernstein has escaped both fate. “It’s ancient,” said Bernardinelli. “Not much has happened since the solar system was formed in its early days, and so we can see it as a window into the past.”

Because it is much larger than other well-known comets مشہور the famous Hale Bop comet, which itself is in a larger direction, measures only 37 miles-Bernardinelli-Bernstein has considerable gravity that holds itself together. Because it loops slowly through space. It’s hard to break.

The comet’s extreme distance from the sun also helped keep it safe. “It spends most of its time in the deep freezing of the outer solar system,” Menzer explained. Megacommite orbital models show that it entered the last part of our solar system about a million and a half million years ago and did not come close to Uranus. From this distance the heat of the sun barely touched him.

As a result, the comet, which she affectionately calls “BB”, may be similar to the actual chemical state of the gas and dust nebula that formed our solar system 4.5 billion years ago, Menzer said.

Bernard Danielli-Bernstein speed approaching in 2031. The comet will pass between the orbits of Saturn’s Uranus.

NASA

His approach in 2031 will be a memorable time to study the chemistry of comets and to show what our jungle neck was like before the planets zipped around it. “The best thing about this comet is that we have a little time to get closer to the sun, so we’ve got years to study how it glows because its surface is exposed to the sun’s heat. Comes. ” Manzer said.

This warm-up act is important, as it causes a comet to shed large amounts of dust particles and create the tail of that particular comet. “As we approach the comet, we’ll be able to tell you more about which chemical sprays act like propellants, so to speak, rock particles,” Menzer explained. And get the dust out of its surface. ”

What Does not Getting out of the megacity is just as important. does. Are the reactions based on carbon dioxide or nitrogen? Bernstein said current observations show that Bernardinelli-Bernstein has a lot of antecedents but relatively little later.

This mix matters. Nitrogen is really common on Pluto, a small planet (or “planet”) If you are with the criticsWhich is farther from the Sun than any other central planet. It is possible that Pluto still has nitrogen in it because it is so far from the sun that it evaporates.

If Bernardinelli-Bernstein is really low on nitrogen, “it probably means that this comet was closer to the sun than Pluto in its youth,” Bernstein said. This could bring Bernardinelli-Bernstein closer to our own planet than Pluto.

Menzer emphasizes that comet’s old, cool inner layers that don’t heat up easily can be more interesting, as they can help reveal what’s in a cloud of gas and dust. Our solar system was born from.

In other words, we can fill some of the vast gaps in the chemical blueprints of our evolution – and come closer to understanding where life, and its supporting planets, came from.

Bernardinelli-Bernstein As seen by the Los Cumbers Observatory 1 meter telescope in Sutherland, South Africa.

LOOK / LCO

For all its promise, there is a downside to Bernard Danielli-Bernstein’s recent discovery. It takes a decade or more to study a single object in space. But considering how long it takes to conceive, fund, organize, and implement a new space mission is not really long. We can only rely on the tools we already have – or are nearing completion – to test the megacoum.

“Larger telescopes are now our best bet. These include the same telescopes that astronomers have already used to examine optics at the Vera Rubin Observatory in addition to Bernard Danielli-Bernstein, which is due to open in 2023,” Bernardinelli said. “Maybe NASA’s new one,” he said James Webb Space Telescope., Which is expected to launch later this year, may also take some time to point to the megacity.

It is highly unlikely that NASA or any other space agency is investigating the collection and collection of samples from Bernard Danielli-Bernstein (which is ironic). What is NASA doing right now? With the asteroid around Jupiter).

But that’s not impossible, and Menzer isn’t leaving anyone hoping that some space agency might see the importance of retrieving the original iceberg from Bernard Danielli-Bernstein – and doing whatever it takes to slap an investigation together. Falls. “I think BB would be a great target for a close and personal visit,” he said.

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