Insterstellar Comet 2I/Borisov

Date of the discovery: 30 August 2019

Short Description: 2I/Borisov is the first insterstellar comet that was discovered. The interstellar comet does not orbit the sun. Instead the comet comes from interstellar space and will leave the solar system after the gravity of the sun changes the direction of the path that 2I/Borisov follows. Interstellar Comets likely form around other stellar systems and get scattered by a planet in the early stage of the formation of the system, a process that also happened in the early stages of the solar system. The interstellar comet 2I/Borisov made its closest approach to the sun on 8 December 2019. The Hubble Space Telescope and ALMA discovered that the comet had an unusual high amount of carbon monoxide (CO), which suggests that the comet either originates from a cooler star or might have formed in the outer region of a large proto-planetary disk.

Volunteer(s): Gennadiy Borisov

Link to the Minor Planet Center: 2I/Borisov = C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)

Link to JPL Small-Body Database: C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)

Telescopes involved: MARGO observatory 0.65-meter telescope (built by Borisov)

Trajectory of 2I/Borisov:
orbit-viewer-snapshot
Other pages:

wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2I%2FBorisov

Press-releases describing the high CO content:
ALMA: https://www.almaobservatory.org/en/press-releases/alma-reveals-unusual-composition-of-interstellar-comet-2i-borisov/
NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/interstellar-comet-borisov-reveals-its-chemistry-and-possible-origins/

Credit for the header image: NASA, ESA, D. Jewitt (UCLA)

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