July 18, 2021

The giant comet C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein)

The Las Cumbres Observatory has captured a new image of the giant comet C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein) that shows its activity despite its considerable distance given that it’s far beyond Saturn’s orbit. The information collected also by looking into archive images such as the ones that allowed to identify it in an image from 2014 is useful to better understand its characteristics. In particular, initial estimates suggested that its diameter was at least 100 kilometers, three times the largest known comet, but these are estimates based on the absence of a coma. C/2014 UN271 will remain far from the Sun, arriving close to Saturn’s orbit at the beginning of 2031, so it can only be admired with telescopes but it could still be very interesting because it probably comes from the Oort cloud.