If dinosaurs were still alive, they would probably have terrible flashbacks from reading this week’s news about a huge space rock racing towards the inner solar system.
It’s not a huge deal if a new comet is heading in the right direction of the sun. This is what comets do. But this one, which has been cataloged as 2014 UN271, stands out for a couple of reasons.|This one, 2014 UN271 has a few unique characteristics.}
First, the space snowball may be approximately 125 miles (200 km) in diameter, placing it somewhere between a large comet and a dwarf world. Consider that comet Hale-Bopp, one of the larger, brighter comets in recent memory, was only 24 miles (40 kilometers) across.|Take for instance comet Hale Bopp. It was 24 miles (40 km) in size.}
2014 UN271 could be the largest comet ever seen, if the initial estimates of its size are correct. There is still a lot of uncertainty. One possibility is that a portion of the width seen in early observations was actually a tail or coma and that the nucleus may be much smaller than it appears currently.
However, the images of the early observations made by Pedro Bernardinelli (University of Pennsylvania astrophysicist) sure do not look tail-less.