The first Goliath comet to visit us.

in Discovery-it2 months ago

The first Goliath comet to visit us.



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In 2014 a giant comet was discovered, it is called 2014 UN271 was discovered by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and its latest analyzes have revealed its orbit and have also revealed that it is approaching the earth, but will not pass the orbit of Saturn, according to the study between 2014 and 2018 this object traveled about 23 to 20 astronomical units.



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An astronomical unit is the distance that separates the earth from the sun and the displacement, the trip that this object made in four years, is really important, since it supposes a little more than the distance that separates the sun from Uranus, according to the calculations of astronomers 2014 UN271 will have its closest approach to us in the year 2031 when it reaches the orbit of Saturn, so as I said there is nothing to fear although it can be a great spectacle for science fans.



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According to astronomers, when its closest approach occurs and despite being still quite far from the sun, the solar heat will be intense enough to vaporize the 2014 UN271 ice, causing a cometary tail to form, which could be huge, because this The object could also be the first comet in the Goliath category.



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And here we must clarify something, typical comets are between a few hundred meters to a couple of kilometers in diameter, giant comets are those whose nuclei are between 10 to 50 kilometers in diameter, in this category would be Halley's comet with a nucleus 30 kilometers in its major axis, but some comments sometimes include it in the next category, the Goliath category, which are those of more than 50 kilometers in diameter of which until now I have not seen any who have visited us, at least since there are historical records, but now we have 2014 UN271 which would be a full-fledged Goliath comet, because it is estimated that this object has a diameter of between 100 to 370 km.



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This giant comet comes from the Oort cloud, a huge area that forms the outer part of the solar system and that extends from 2,000 astronomical units to perhaps a light year, the outer limit is a matter of debate, but it would end where it is lost the gravitational influence of the sun.


The Oort cloud can be home to up to a trillion comets, in addition to some would-be dwarf planets, of which Serna stands out that although it is estimated to be 1800 kilometers in diameter, the international astronomical union still does not recognize it as a dwarf planet.



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The Oort cloud is also the place where several astronomers look for the enigmatic planet 9 if it exists, the giant comet 2014 UN271 comes that mysterious and immense region and takes in orbit it gives the sun a total of 612 thousand 190 years, the last time that was heated by the sun's rays the ancestors of humans lived in caves.





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