Pets

Massive eruption from icy volcanic comet detected in solar system

An artist’s impression of a comet flying through space trailed by twin streams of gas and dust. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

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A bizarre, volcanic comet has violently erupted, spewing out more than 1 million tons of gas, ice and the “potential building blocks of life” into the solar system

The volatile comet, known as 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (29P), is around 37 miles (60 kilometers) wide and takes around 14.9 years to orbit the sun. 29P is believed to be the most volcanically active comet in the solar system. It is one of around 100 comets, known as “centaurs,” that have been pushed from the Kuiper Belt — a ring of icy comets that lurk beyond Neptune — into a closer orbit around the sun between those of Jupiter and Neptune, according to NASA (opens in new tab).

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