A comet that was recently discovered moving in the direction of the orbit of Mars on September 10, has left people of the scientific community curious whether the origin of the object in space is from somewhere outside the solar system and if this proves to be true then this comet would be the second such interstellar object in our solar system.
The path of the comet was first observed by Gennady Borisov, an astronomer from Crimea in Eastern Europe and it showed that the comet followed a path that was curved, hurtling in the direction of the sun at a really high speed, giving evidence that it indeed was an interstellar object.
Let's put a face to an amazing discovery. Gennadii Borisov found what appears to be a large comet that's now swooping into our solar system from interstellar space. https://t.co/L672i9hXG9 pic.twitter.com/Dk9r3gLUm2— Corey S. Powell (@coreyspowell) September 11, 2019
Karen Meech, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii, said that her team was on their toes trying to come up with the precise positional measurements. She stated that the size of the object classified it under the category of a comet. She further added that whenever we discover a new comet, finding data to determine its orbit becomes a priority and her team is sure about the comet coming from beyond the solar system.
The newly found comet apparently a combination of dust and ice, is at a distance of 260 million miles from the sun and with it coming close to the sun on September 8, the distance between the comet and earth will be 190 million miles.
Codenamed as the C/2019 Q4, it is the second such object to be ever observed by the scientists. The first object was a comet in the shape of a cigar called 'Oumuamua' that came into our solar system in the year 2017, resulting in initial rumors calling it an extraterrestrial spacecraft.
According to the scientists studying C/2019 Q4, the comet would be around the orbit Mars for almost a year, giving them sufficient time to analyze its structure and find out the origin of the object.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the comet's blurry appearance give a hint that the core body of the comet is ice-based that is making a cloud of dust as it hurtles towards the sun and its temperature goes up.
You’re not from around here, are you? A newly discovered comet appears to have originated from outside our solar system: https://t.co/Z0I9PVurM6 If confirmed, this is the second such interstellar visitor we’ve observed: https://t.co/4SRDS4cL1r pic.twitter.com/zIBG9MkCis— NASA Solar System (@NASASolarSystem) September 12, 2019
The C/2019 Q4 appearance is very dim but telescopes that are meant for the purpose of tracking it will be able to keep an eye on it for months to come. NASA is of the opinion that telescopes of moderate size would fit the bill for months to come.