When astronomers see something within the universe that in the first place glance looks like one-of-a-kind, it is sure to stir up a lot of curiosity and attention. Enter comet 2I/Borisov. This mysterious comet from the depths of space is the first recognized comet to arrive here from one other star. Astronomers do not know where or when the comet began heading towards the Sun; however, it will not last around for long.
The gravity of Sun is slightly deflecting its trajectory; however, it cannot capture it due to its orbit shape and high velocity of about 100,000 miles/hour.
Telescopes all over the world have been watching the fleeting visitor. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has offered the sharpest views as the comet goes around by the Sun. Since the month of October, the space telescope has been following the comet-like sports photographer following horses rushing around a racetrack.
Hubble disclosed that the heart of the comet, a loose agglomeration of ices and dust particles, is probably going not more than about 3,200 feet throughout, in regards to the length of nine football fields.
Although comet Borisov is the first of its variety, no doubt there are lots of different comet vagabonds out there, using the space between stars. Astronomers will eagerly be looking out for the next mysterious visitor from far beyond.
These two pictures, taken by Hubble, capture comet 2I/Borisov streaking although the solar system and on its way back to interstellar space. It’s only the second interstellar object identified to have passed via the solar system.