A peculiar cosmic object from outside our Solar System is currently heading towards the Earth, astronomers have announced.
Astronomer Dr. Michael Drahus said that the rare interstellar comet, which was initially thought to be 1I/Oumuamua, is, in fact, a cosmic object that resides outside our Solar System. Back in 2017, the comet called Oumamua traveled all the way to our galaxy, similar to the newly discovered ‘2I/Borisov,’ or ‘Comet Borisov,’ dubbed after the scientist who discovered it, who will have a close encounter with Earth, at about 177,000 miles distance.
Astronomers from Poland first identified the cosmic object in September and studied its orbit. Scientist Piotr Guzik and Michel Drahus of Jagiellonian University used data codes to detect the comet, after it was first discovered by Gennady Borisov on August 30th.
Dr. Guzik said that the comet is still appearing from the Sun’s morning blaze and growing in brightness. It will be observable for a few months.
The research scientists are performing on this cosmic body will be groundbreaking for planetary astronomy and a landmark for the astronomic field overall.
The name of the heavenly body follows the tradition of naming comets after their discoverers. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has officially approved the name ‘Borisov’ for the comet, as well as a final designation as the second interstellar object, 2I. The name of the comet honors its discoverer, Crimean amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov.
To come to the resolution that the comet was interstellar, astronomers monitored the cosmic body’s location sufficiently to confirm that it had an impressively hyperbolic orbit. This means it has a wide arc that is nearing from one side and departs in another, making it as an object just traveling through our Solar System.
The newly discovered 2I/Borisov has a larger hyperbolic path than any other comet researchers have analyzed until now, the IAU declared. Objects located in our Solar system are imprisoned in elliptical orbits around the Sun that look like squished circles.