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Astronomers have calculated the size of a ‘mega comet’ originating in the Oort Cloud, a cluster of icy bodies that surrounds our solar system

Space

4 February 2022

Illustration of the comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein as it might look in the outer solar systemNOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva
Astronomers have confirmed that a “mega comet” flying towards the sun is the biggest comet from the outer solar system ever found.
In June 2021, astronomers announced the discovery of comet C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein) beyond the orbit of Uranus. Its brightness suggested it was a vast object originating from a cloud of icy bodies that surrounds our solar system, the Oort Cloud. It was estimated to be between 100 and 370 kilometres across, making it …
Article amended on
4 February 2022

We amended this article to correctly refer to the reflectivity of the comet and state the diameter of 95P/Chiron.

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