Hubble Space Telescope has determined the size of the largest icy comet nucleus ever seen
Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 12 April 2022, at 12:38 pm Los Angeles time
Hubble Space Telescope has determined the size of the largest icy comet nucleus ever seen.
In the image above presented by NASA and ESA you can see how the core of comet C / 2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein), that was covered by dust and gas.
There are three images to represent this research.
From left to right:
In the first image we can see the comet itself. Hubble made this capture on January 8, 2022 with the Wide Field 3 Camera, according to ESA.
In the second image, we can see a coma pattern from Hubble's observations. This was achieved by adjusting the surface brightness profile.
In the third image we can see the representation of the comet's core.
Hubble data combined with a radio telescope, astronomers determined the comet's core as accurately as possible. The body is at 4.8 billion kilometers away, so the calculations were not easy.
Astronomers estimate that the nucleus is 135 km long, the largest so far.
"Its size is derived from the reflectivity measured by Hubble. The core is estimated to be as black as coal. The core area is taken from radio observations." said the European space agency.