Massive eruption of an icy volcanic comet discovered in the solar system

An artist’s rendering of a comet flying through space followed by two streams of gas and dust. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

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

Known as 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (29P), the fleeting comet is about 37 miles (60 kilometers) wide and takes about 14.9 years to orbit Sun. 29P is considered the most volcanically active comet in the solar system. It’s one of around 100 comets known as “centaurs” that have been pushed out of the Kuiper Belt — a ring of icy comets lurking beyond Neptune – into a closer orbit around the Sun between those of Jupiter and Neptune, after NASA (opens in new tab).

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