NASA says this giant comet is on its way to Earth at lightning speed! Are we in Danger? | Tech News

NASA says this giant comet is on its way to Earth at lightning speed! Are we in Danger?

The largest comet in the solar system is making its way towards Earth at a scary speed! Are we in Danger? Know what NASA said.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 11:40 IST
The giant comet named Bernardinelli-Bernstein is a massive 128 KM in diameter, NASA said, citing Hubble Space Telescope data. (Science News - ALYSSA PAGAN/STSCI)

NASA says that Hubble Space Telescope has found a giant comet with the largest nucleus ever seen by astronomers. NASA says that the giant comet named Bernardinelli-Bernstein (C/2014 UN271) is around 128 KM in diameter, which makes it even larger than Rhode Island in the US and its nucleus is 50 times bigger than the other known comets. But what is alarming is the lightning speed at which it is coming towards Earth! According to NASA, Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is well on its way. NASA mentions that the Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet is moving at the speed of 22,000 miles per hour from the edge of the solar system towards Earth.

However, NASA says that the comet will never get any closer than 1 billion miles to Earth. And another good news is that it won't make its closest approach to Earth before the year 2031.

Danger is still there

But still, the biggest fear of scientists is "what if the comet slightly deviates from its path." And the answer won't make you relax as it can bring the worst possible scenario - the end of the Earth as we know it!

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What will happen if the comet strikes the Earth?

NASA laid out the three major factors that affect the severity of a celestial body's strike, in this case, say comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein.

  • The first factor is body weight; the larger the body, the more harm it does.
  • The second factor is the celestial object's speed. In simpler terms, a slower-moving item has less kinetic energy, which evaporates more gradually. While, on the other hand, a high-speed object will convey a large amount of energy at a rapid rate, which will result in more damage.
  • And the last factor is the composition of the celestial object. That means the comet's structure also plays a significant effect in the comet's final impact on Earth. Generally, it is said that rocky bodies are worse than icy bodies.

And by keeping all the three factors in place, the comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is capable enough to smash the Earth into several small fragments and destroy all life!

That means we are safe unless the comet changes its path!

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First Published Date: 23 Apr, 18:17 IST