Recently, a comet visited our solar system,hailing from another part of the galaxy. At the end of August, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov noticed an object moving through the sky. Subsequent observations showed that the speed and trajectory of the object indicate its origin outside the solar system. Currently, Borisov’s comet is the second interstellar guest after the Oumuamua comet. A study published in the journal Nature Astronomy revealed details such as core size and gas distribution, but further observation will allow scientists to understand the structure of matter and the chemical composition of other stellar systems.
Messengers of other worlds
The first interstellar visitor to the Solarthe system, which arrived in 2017, was called the Hawaiian name "Oumuamua" meaning "messenger from afar, who arrived first." The appearance of Oumuamua did not live up to the expectations of the first ever interstellar guest, in contrast to Borisov’s comet, which practically does not differ from local objects. The familiar properties of this comet mean that outside our space home, comets also form around other stars.
And yet, the arrival of Oumuamua madeastronomers review the frequency with which other objects must visit the solar system. Even with updated data, astronomers did not expect the next visitor until 2022. It is in 2022 that the launch of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is planned - this is a wide-angle panoramic reflector telescope designed to record an accessible area of the sky every three nights. Of course, no one expected a second visitor just two years after the first. What do you think, what other objects from other worlds can get into our solar system? Let's discuss this with the participants in our Telegram chat.
Comet Borisov is all that Oumuamua doesn’tis an. While the first interstellar guest looked more like an asteroid, the comet of Borisov has a vague tail characteristic of such objects. As the comet is active and approaches the Sun and the Earth, it becomes brighter. Most importantly, while Oumuamua could only be studied for a few weeks before it became barely visible even to the Hubble Space Telescope. But Borisov’s comet will be visible to astronomers for several months. Based on the data obtained, astronomers today know that the nucleus of Borisov’s comet has a radius of about 1 kilometer, which is similar to the size of the comets of the solar system. Dust with traces of gas predominates in the core. The only thing that, according to astronomers, distinguishes Borisov’s comet from local comets is its trajectory.
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Future observations of Borisov's comet
Astronomers around the world will continue to observeinterstellar guest until the comet can be seen. As December 8, Borisov’s comet will be as close to the Sun as possible, and both professionals and amateur astronomers will be ready for Earth on December 28. Scientists also hope to obtain data on the composition of the comet.
Being thrown away from other planetary systems,Oumuamua, Borisov's comet, and other interstellar wanderers can tell a lot about planet formation. While the unusual properties of Oumuamua suggest that some young star systems can be very different from ours, the similarity of Borisov’s comet with local comets convinces us that other systems are more like ours. Will you watch Borisov’s comet in December?