Will Earth Collide with Comet? Comet - Bernardinelli-Bernstein

Jay Kakade
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Giant Comet
A Giant Comet with diameter of more than 200 Kilometres is heading towards our Solar system with extreme velocity. By the time of 10 years, it will fly by the Earth i.e. in 2031 in January. A giant comet named Berardinelli-Bernstein.
This is the largest object to come to our planet from Oort Cloud.

Oort Cloud

Oort Cloud is the most distant part of our solar system. This is a spherical show of trillions of icy comets that covers our solar system.
At any moment one could knocked out and get towards us. Whether it is a tiny ice or giant comet it can destroy Earth depends on how lucky we are in space lottery.


We generally rely on Jupiter which acts as a Giant Bumper preventing space object from approaching the Earth.
But this time it could be different. What will happen if all comets from Oort Cloud started their way towards Earth.
How an Nuclear Explosion can save us from Meteors strikes ?

Oort cloud

Berardinelli-Bernstein

In 2031, we're about meet the largest comet ever known to humankind. Let's figure out, where did it came from and Why is it Heading towards Milky Way.


According to Scientists calculations, Bernardinelli-Bernstein was 0.6 light years away from Sun in Oort Cloud. Oort Cloud is a cluster of trillions of Icy Planetesimals around Our Solar System.
Though considered a part if Solar System, it lies within the interstellar space unaffected by Solar Winds.
For reference, It takes Sunlight an average if eight minutes to reach the Earth. Four and Half hours to reach Neptune. And it takes 10 to 28 days for Sunlight to reach Oort Cloud. That's mighty far.


Bernardinelli-Bernstein is heading towards us from Oort Cloud but it's 10 times larger than comets which used to.
It's traveling perpendicular to solar system's proto-planetary disk. The comet will fly into Saturn's gravitational field and then loop back again.
The next time it will be seen in our neighbourhood again will be in 3 - 4.5 Million Years.


Objects in Oort Clouds move randomly in various inclinations in different directions. But if something disturbs the orbit of this icy world, then it could starts their journey towards the Sun. Therefore we can't predict when will this giant objects will head towards us.
This collisions occur chaotically as far as we're concerned. But we can't begin to imagine what's coming if we look at the objects from Oort Cloud that have already reached the solar system.

Siding Spring Comet

Siding Spring Comet

NASA, ESA, and J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


In 2014, A comet called Siding Spring made a very close pass from Mars. With two bodies coming within about a hundred and forty thousand five hundred Kilometres of Each Other. This comet passed Mars by the speed of 56 KM/hr. Which left Mars surrounded by dust for few hours.

Hale-Bopp Comet

The Brightest Comet ever seen from Earth was too from Oort Cloud. It could be seen from naked eyes for 18 months. This comet is famous and wonderfully named Hale-Bopp Comet. In the beginning in May 1990, It could be seen from Northern Hemisphere. On 1st April 1997, It reached the Perihelion point in its Orbit, i.e. Nearest point towards Sun.


At that time, It was the brightest Object in the sky. Journey of Hale-Bopp's comet was 4,200 Years, But eventually reduced to half. And once again Jupiter that's Behind everything. Jupiter's Massive and powerful Gravity that significantly altered Hail Bopp's orbit, This wasn't the first time that Jupiter encountered a comet. In 1992 It ripped comet shoemaker levy to shreds with extreme Violence. Two years later this comets hit Jupiter leaving behind Dark Spots on it's Surface.


Jupiter can change the trajectory of tons of stuffs, Comets and other celestial Object. Thus protecting Earth from Collision. We can say, Jupiter is our friend and Protector. But recently, NASA performed a supercomputer simulation discovering that Jupiter is more cunning and influential than just that.
It can be our Foe. But our Jupiter friend, doesn't only protects us from harmful objects but it sends harmless objects directly towards us.

Satellite


How Can We Defend Ourselves Against Comets and Asteroids ?

But we can't rely on Jupiter. How an we defend ourselves from Objects from Oort Clouds that suddenly heads towards us.


If an object is heading towards us, we have only two options. 1) To fragment it 2) To change it's trajectory.
Scientist believes the Nuclear Explosion to be best to save us from Comets and Asteroids. Accurate Nuclear Energy and Explosion will burn out Comets in Earth's Atmosphere.


But, There are some other options too. To set a system of lenses and mirrors closer to Sun and to focus the Sun's rays towards space object. As they are mainly composed of Ice, They will be evaporated before approaching Earth.


We can make a Space Rocket and send it towards space object and destroy it in outer space. Or we can paint a comet white. Which will reflect light from other leading to pushing it out the gravitational pull of Earth.


But this takes time. And sounds something like impossible. It is like sending a giant Can of spray in space to paint Comet. Quiet Funny and Impossible, Right ?
We will need an advance system to tackle such problems. Thankfully, Many man made projects focuses on the objects heading towards us.

Comet

Drawbacks of Such Projects

This projects help us to identify the comets, But they can be identified only a few weeks before entering Earth's Atmosphere. And This time is not sufficient to blow dangerous objects before hitting our Big Blue Planet.


But What about Bernardinelli-Bernstein Comet. It was discovered in 2014 as a part of Dark Energy Project. Scientist Believe this possess no threat to Earth as it's Orbit travels near Saturn's Orbit.
But, What will happen if all the clouds from Oort Clouds, starts their journey towards us.
Sounds like Impossible, But if we're Extremely unlucky this could happen. Objects are influenced by the force exerted by Milky Way.
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