Comet travelling towards Earth 'could be from outside our solar system'


An novice astronomer has found a mysterious comet that might be from outside our solar system.

Amateur stargazer Gennady Borisov made the invention on August 30 on the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Bakhchysarai. 

At the time, the comet was about 450 million km from the Sun.

The Harvard University Minor Planet Centre (MPC) has issued a proper announcement of the invention.

It might be the second interstellar object found after the elongated physique referred to as ‘Oumuamua was recognized in 2017.

Oumuamua travelling towards the outskirts of our solar system (NASA/ESA/STScI)

According to the BBC, the brand new comet – referred to as Comet C/2019 This autumn (Borisov) – seems to have a “hyperbolic” orbit, which deviates considerably from that of an ideal circle, indicating its origin is from one other planet. 

An ideal circle has an eccentricity of zero and elliptical orbits of many planets and comets have eccentricities between zero and 1. The new object has an eccentricity of three.2, based mostly on present observations.

‘Oumuamua was initially categorized as a comet based mostly on its hyperbolic trajectory.

But additional observations detected no signal of a coma, which is the fuzzy envelope across the nucleus of a comet.

C/2019 This autumn (Borisov) is clearly an energetic comet with a visual coma and tail.

Astrophysicist Karl Battams, from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, tweeted: “Unlike ‘Oumuamua, whose asteroid-or-comet nature nonetheless will get debated, this one is unquestionably a comet.

“If it’s unequivocally interstellar, it will be fascinating to see how its composition (spectral properties) compares to the variability we see in comets from our personal Solar System.”

Astrophysicist Simon Porter, from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas, stated: “With such a vibrant coma, we should always be in a position to get lovely spectra of This autumn and hopefully measure isotopic ratios.”

The object can also be very giant, round 20km huge, and vibrant – not like ‘Oumuamua.

What’s extra is that ‘Oumuamua was solely noticed after its closest strategy (perihelion) to the Sun so wasn’t seen lengthy sufficient for astronomers to reply the questions that they had.

But C/2019 This autumn (Borisov) continues to be approaching our Solar System and will not attain perihelion till December 10.

The Minor Planet Centre stated the item ought to be observable for at the very least a 12 months and has referred to as on astronomers to make follow-up observations.