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.
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However, the images of the early observations made by Pedro Bernardinelli (University of Pennsylvania astrophysicist) sure do not look tail-less.