STATES CHRONICLE – Astronomers have discovered a massive comet, being about 100,000 times bigger than Halley’s comet. This comet appears to contain sulfur, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. The massive icy object has been torn apart, dispersing detritus near a star which completely burned out. Astronomers in Germany who revealed it claim that this celestial object has a similar composition with the well-known Halley’s comet.
The only difference is that this one is approximately 100,000 times bigger, containing more water. Scientists in Garching, Germany used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to make this discovery. They also observed how the detritus coming from the comet is affecting the white dwarf star which seems like it’s running out of nuclear fuel.
This white star is situated at about 170 light-years away from our planet. Specialists claim that this is the first time when they have unveiled the existence of a comet-like celestial object in the atmosphere of a white dwarf. In the universe, approximately a quarter of the existing white stars have a polluted environment due to the debris coming from the asteroid-like objects.
This discovery may also indicate that out there in cosmos could be planets which have survived during the disintegration process of a star. Astronomers argued that those planets might have attracted the massive comet toward the white star.
The findings also revealed that there might exist a belt of comets which orbit around the white dwarf star in a similar way in which the Kuiper Belt orbits around our sun. Nevertheless, NASA claimed that the comets which are part of the Kuiper Belt might have been the ones who provided water and other chemical substances.
These components altogether might have been the same which served as the cornerstone for the development of our planet many billions of years ago. Siyi Xu, the researcher who led the team of scientists, stated that this is the first time when they have revealed nitrogen in the composition of the detritus coming from a massive comet.
Xu also pointed out that nitrogen is one of the most significant elements which sustain life. This celestial object which was recently revealed contains plenty of nitrogen, more than any other similar object which was ever analyzed in our solar system.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia