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A massive eruption of an icy volcanic comet discovered in the solar system

A massive eruption of an icy volcanic comet discovered in the solar system

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

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

The volatile comet, known as 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (29P), is about 37 miles (60 kilometers) wide and takes about 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 about 100 comets, known as “centaurs”, that have been ejected from the Kuiper Belt – the ring of icy comets that lurk behind 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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