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Hubble Telescope Spots Largest Comet Ever Seen, With Nucleus 'Bigger Than Rhode Island'

PROVIDENCE (CBS) -- NASA said Tuesday that the Hubble Telescope has spotted the largest comet ever seen. The nucleus of the "behemoth comet" is 80 miles across, making it "bigger than Rhode Island," the space agency said.

The mass of comet C/2014 UN271 is 100,000 times greater than a typical comet.

"We've always suspected this comet had to be big because it is so bright at such a large distance," UCLA planetary science professor David Jewitt said in a statement. "Now we confirm it is."

The comet is coming in from the edge of the solar system at 22,000 mph. But experts say there's no reason for people on Earth to be worried -it will never get closer than 1 billion miles away from the sun, which is about the distance to Saturn, and that will happen in 2031.


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