Largest Comet Nucleus

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Video imagery:
· Illustration comparing comet nucleus sizes: NASA, ESA, Zena Levy (STScI)
· Process images showing isolation of comet nucleus: SCIENCE: NASA, ESA, Man-To Hui (Macau University of Science and Technology), David Jewitt (UCLA); IMAGE PROCESSING: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

Writer: Leah Ramsay
Designer: Leah Hustak, Joseph Olmsted
Science review: Dr. Frank Summers
Education review: Jim Manning
Music from Music for Non-Profits


A grid of photographs of celestial bodies moves up. A white line moves down and another across. Text, News from the universe. The text is above an image of Jupiter.
Comparison of comet nucleus sizes. Largest comet nucleus. Six comets are displayed.
Text, April 25, 2022. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed the largest icy comet nucleus ever seen -- Comet Bernardinelli -Bernstein.
The nucleus diameter could be up to 85 miles across, larger than the state of Rhode Island.
The comets slowly scroll across the screen. Label below largest, C/2014 U.N. 2 71.
Text, The comet was discovered in archival data from a ground-based telescope.
Hubble's high resolution distinguished the comet's solid nucleus from the huge dusty shell enveloping it.
Different models scroll across and show the comet as points of light.
Text, The comet's size and mass provide clues about the formation of the Solar System and its distant outer reaches, where comets like this originate.
This news was brought to you in part by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.