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The interstellar comet traveling at 2I Borisov passes closer to Earth, captured by the Hubble Space telescope


October 17, 2019 18:05:02

The Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed a comet from outside our solar system has arrived.

Important points:

  • Comets move at speeds of more than 177,000 kilometers per hour
  • It is only the second recorded interstellar visitor seen in our solar system
  • Comet Borisov 2I was discovered by an amateur astronomer from Crimea

The comet, named 2I Borisov, began to appear on October 12 and is the second interstellar object located in our environment, when amazing recordings and images show it entering the solar system.

The comet was found by Crimean amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov, and Hubble photographed the comet at a distance of 418 million kilometers from Earth.

The comet fell past the Sun and will make its closest approach to the Sun on December 7 this year, when it will be twice as far from the Sun than from Earth.

2I Borisov traveled with an incredible speed of 177,027 kilometers per hour and followed the hyperbolic path around the sun.

This is only the second interstellar object known to have passed through the solar system.

In 2017, the first identified interstellar visitor, an object officially named 'Oumuamua, swings 39 million kilometers from the Sun before running out of the solar system and there are many allegations about what a comet is, before finally being considered an asteroid .

This time there seems to be a bit of confusion, according to David Jewitt of the University of California, who spoke to NASA and was the leader of the Hubble team who observed the comet.

"Whereas Oumuamua looks like a rock, Borisov is really active, more like a normal comet. It's a puzzle why the two are so different," Jewitt said.

"Traveling so fast that it hardly cares that the Sun is there."

The comet is expected to provide invaluable clues to the chemical composition, structure and characteristics of dust from the building blocks of planets that may have been forged in alien star systems that were far in the past.

In mid-2020 the comet will travel beyond Jupiter's 804 million kilometers on its way back to interstellar space, where it will float for countless millions of years.


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