March 30, 2023
A large comet 150 km in diameter is approaching Earth

A large comet 150 km in diameter is approaching Earth

With a diameter of 150 km, roughly the distance between Rio de Janeiro and Cabo Frio, the comet called Bernardinelli-Bernstein is approaching from edge of the solar system towards planet earth. It will likely be closer in 10 years.

This celestial body is about 31 times larger than the comets seen by astronomers. Despite the proximity of its path to the solar system, astronomers claim that There is no possibility It collides with our planet.

In 2014, Bernadinelli-Bernstein was first identified. At the time, it was mistaken for a minor planet, known as a dwarf planet. Only now, after seven years, have scientists been able to correctly identify it.

Comets are celestial bodies made up of ice, dust, and some rocky material, such as a huge snowball. Researchers were able to identify them at night thanks to their long tails, which can stretch for millions of kilometers.

The comet is named after the astrophysicists who discovered it: Pedro Bernardinelli, currently a PhD in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and a graduate of the University of São Paulo (USP), and Gary Bernstein, consultant and research partner. in Brazil.

According to astrophysicists, this comet has not visited the solar system for more than 3 million years, and it is estimated that it takes about millions of years to make a complete turn around the sun.

It is expected that as the comet approaches Earth, scientists will be able to better observe it and get more information about the formation of the solar system.

According to astronomers, this could be the largest comet ever seen, considering that the 3,743 comets known to NASA are about three to five kilometers in diameter, which would be the size of a village.