Palma.—The Majorcan Observatory in Costitx has discovered a new comet in the so-called Oort cloud, which is spherical cloud of comets which lies roughly nearly a light-year, from the Sun on the very edge of our Solar System.

The comet has been named C/2012B3 “La Sagra” in honour of the area near Granada from where it was spotted by a robotic telescope controlled by the Costitx observatory.

The comet was first spotted on January 29 and since then, the Costitx finding has been ratified by observatories in the United States, the United Kingdom and Belgium.

According to sources at the Costitx observatory yesterday, La Sagra is the fifth comet they have discovered but the first which travels in a parabolic orbit.

The comet has a core of 10 kilometres in diameter and could be 4.500 million years old.
Astronomers explained yesterday that the comet had been frozen inside the Oort Cloud until, for reasons as yet unknown, it dropped out and began falling towards the sun, which is when it was spotted by the telescope some 564 million kilometres from the Earth.

The observatory is waiting until March 24 to gather more information because that is when the comet will be closest to the earth, just 516 million kilometres away.