Who discovered the wreck?
The discovery is credited to astronomers Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein. They tracked down the piece thanks to archival photos taken between 2014 and 2018 by the Cerro Tololo Observatory in Chile. The images were used as part of the Dark Energy Survey, a study of dark matter in the universe. The object is set to 2014 UN271.
What kind of thing is this?
Brightness measurements indicate that the 2014 UN271 is of adequate size, with a diameter of from 100 to 370 km. That is why there is already talk of a “brutal comet”. It will be the largest part of the Oort cloud ever discovered. This cloud of 100 billion comet-like objects was invented by Dutch astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort in 1950 to explain why comets with long orbits exist in our solar system. The cloud forms a crust at the edge of our solar system and begins at more than 3,000 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
What orbit revolves in our solar system?
The year 2014 UN271 lies three billion kilometers from Earth and is on our way. Just ten years from now, in 2031, the debris will be as close as possible to the Sun and Earth, outside of Saturn’s orbit around the Sun. The path of the object is private. It is roughly perpendicular to the plane in which the planets revolve around the sun. Calculations indicate that the farthest point from orbit is 0.6 light-years away. This means that it takes more than 612,190 years for the debris to orbit the Sun.
Can the visitor be seen?
2014 UN271 is expected to develop a tail as frozen material evaporates at the surface. To see the object from Earth, you need a powerful telescope. Whether you are talking about a giant comet or a monster, or a small planet (some astronomers find this description too exaggerated), due to its appearance at such a great distance it is not visible at all with the naked eye. Compare its brightness to Pluto and its moon Charon.
Are there risks with the arrival of 2014 UN271?
Some disaster movies suggest otherwise, but with the predicted orbit, the Earth is not in danger. Only a few will wake up. Astronomers will certainly continue to track the orbit of 2014 UN271 over the next decade, until the debris reaches its closest point to the sun and begins to exit our solar system. There are voices calling for an investigation to be sent there. The question astronomers especially want answered: What caused this piece of the Oort cloud to enter its remarkable orbit?