Monday, 21 October, 2019

New interstellar object dubbed 2I/Borisov

Our second-ever interstellar visitor now has a name 2I  Borisov 2nd interstellar visitor to our solar system confirmed and named CNN
Sandra Phillips | 26 September, 2019, 14:54

Soon after, NASA JPL Scout systems picked up on the object and noted it as potentially interstellar before calculating the probability of collision with Earth.

An image of 2I/Borisov obtained using the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph on the Gemini North Telescope on Hawaii's Maunakea.

The 2I in the name 2I/Borisov refers to its status as the second interstellar object ever discovered. The interstellar comet will not come any closer than 2 AU to the Earth, according to the IAU.

The first interstellar comet and the second interstellar object to enter our Solar System in modern history, it was originally discovered by a telescope maker with a solid history of newly-identified comets. Scientists will spend the next few months studying the comet before it returns to the vastness of space.

Astronomers from the IAU Minor Planet Center then computed its preliminary orbit, which suggested this object was indeed interstellar.

On August 30, Ukrainian novice astronomer Gennady Borisov learned the object from the MARGO observatory in Crimea, temporarily naming it C/2019 Q4.

A newly discovered comet that may have originated outside our Solar System has an official title.

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The International Astronomical Union calls 2I/Borisov "unambiguously interstellar", and further states that it has the most hyperbolic orbit of any comet discovered. ever.

Its visibly quick tail and "fuzzy" overall look verify the object's standing as a comet. The window was only open for nine days for 'Oumuamua, since it was discovered after it had swung past the Sun and was on its way out of the solar system.

"The comet's current velocity is high, about 93,000 miles per hour, which is well above the typical velocities of objects orbiting the Sun at that distance", says Davide Farnocchia of NASA Center. It will be visible through professional telescopes for months. According to a press release, 2I/Borisov is now approaching the Sun but will get no closer than 190 million miles - that's 50 million miles outside Mars' orbit.

"The comet's current velocity is high, about 93,000 miles per hour, which is well above the typical velocities of objects orbiting the Sun at that distance", Farnocchia said.

"Astronomers are turning their telescopes toward the visitor, which offers a tantalizing glimpse beyond our Solar System and raises some puzzling questions", said IAU in a statement. This comet's stay should be a bit longer.

By December 2019 and January 2020 it is expected that it will be at its brightest in the southern sky. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.

Future observations will shed more light on its size, rotation and path.

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