December 8, 2021

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The ‘megacomet’ Bernardinelli-Bernstein is the find of a decade. Here’s the discovery explained.

9 min read


Even Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein admit they’re an unlikely pair of scientists to end up with a record-breaking comet named in their honor.

Scientists briefly estimated that Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein, as it’s now known, was the largest such icy body identified to date, perhaps more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) across. Additional observations have cast that into doubt, but given the “megacomet” a new distinction: it sprouted a tail remarkably far from the sun, suggesting more revelations to come. All told, the object offers astronomers an unprecedented opportunity to watch the antics of a comet.



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