While Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellites rain down on Earth and burn up in its atmosphere, a massive comet may potentially meet a fiery end of its own as it heads directly for our solar system’s sun.
Actually, the massive comet has done a relatively remarkable job of maintaining its original features and composition. Deemed “the biggest comet ever” by Giant Freakin Robot, the astronomical entity has been concluded the largest comet to ever be observed by stargazers here on Earth.
As such, its sheer size has enabled it to survive the intensity of our sun’s scorching heat as it orbits our star. Meanwhile, the impact of gravity from various passing space objects helps in maintaining its physical composition.
As such, scientists have hopes the comet will serve as a galactic time machine. Experts believe the comet potentially boasts the same physical and chemical makeup it did during the creation of the universe. Its originality likely stems from its typically cold location of orbit. Overall, scientists have estimated the comet to measure near 85 miles in diameter. For perspective, that’s equivalent to about 15 Mount Everests compiled together.
Should the comet have a trajectory toward Earth, we may well end up like the dinosaurs. Fortunately for us, this is far from the case. Instead, its trajectory puts it directly on a collision course with the sun.
Nevertheless, the outlet tells us the comet’s solar approach is likely just its latest trip. Many believe it previously passed us by some 500 million years ago. Now, scientists have about a decade to prepare for the comet’s nearest approach to Earth, taking place in 2031. As per the outlet, the monster space rock will pass right between Uranus and Neptune’s orbits.
Scientists Discover Massive Comet by Accident
It’s one thing to say you discovered the largest comet the world’s ever seen. Although it’s quite another to have done so by accident.
According to Giant Freakin Robot, comet C/2014 UN271 saw discovery by two scientists, Gary Bernstein and Pedro Bernadinelli in 2014. The pair stumbled upon the comet as they explored another astronomical hypothesis entirely.
As per the outlet, the duo had been exploring an entirely different celestial entity called Neptunian objects. Derived from its location beyond Neptune’s orbit, the outer spacial objects are hunks of rock that orbit our sun beyond the distance of our solar system’s outward most planet. These are found about 93 million miles from Earth’s overall distance from the sun.
In researching the rocky space hunks, the scientists saw the massive comet “peeking” out of a concentration of icy objects 2 billion miles away.
Fortunately, for the pair’s original hypothesis, they were still able to record an impressive total of 800 trans-Neptunian objects. However, jotting down the massive space rock’s discovery on your resumé definitely doesn’t hurt your potential job opportunities.