Astronomers Believe They Have Discovered New Interstellar Object

New Comet Discovered

New Comet Discovered

These objects spend eons looping through the solar system, perhaps kicked around a bit after straying too close to a planet and getting tugged off course. "These bound interstellar objects could potentially plant life from another planetary system and in the solar system".

This would be only the second interstellar object ever observed in our solar system. The first such visitor,'Oumuamua, took scientists by surprise in 2017. C/2019 Q4's eccentricity is greater than 3.5, according to NASA JPL's Small-Body Database. This will mean that we will have a lot more time to study it.

For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za. The object may even fly near Mars later this year, though it's still far away.

The unimaginatively named C/2019 Q4 is now 260 million miles from the Sun, and will approach no closer to Earth than about 190 million miles on December 8.

The rock is reminiscent of Oumuamua, the first interstellar object we detected as it passed through our solar system, briefly greeting our sun before heading back out again, generating huge excitement here on Earth.

Meet C/2019: Gennady Borisov in Crimea first saw the object on August 30 through his own telescope.

Now on an inbound trajectory, comet C/2019 Q4 is heading toward the inner solar system and will enter it on October 26 from above at roughly a 40-degree angle relative to the ecliptic plane. Then, using mathematical models, astronomers fit the measurements to an orbit, which lets them see where the object came from. It's mainly just a moving speck to us, albeit, apparently, a slightly fuzzy one. "Now astronomers are much more prepared".

"We don't know how bright it's going to be". They labeled it C/2019 Q4.

With more observations of C/2019 Q4, scientists have worked out the shape of its orbit.

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Oumuamua was already on its way out of the solar system at high speed when astronomers realized what it was.

The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

Early calculations suggest that C/2019 Q4 has a hyperbolic orbit - meaning one that that has the ability to escape the Sun's gravitational pull. They are trying to plot the trajectory of the object.

Comet C/2019 Q4, in contrast, is the kind of interstellar candidate that the European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to study via a mission called Comet Interceptor in just a few years.

This rough simulation shows C/2019 Q4's possible orbital path (green) through the solar system. Another 10,000 likely pass within Neptune's orbit annually. In order to get the most accurate trajectory, astronomers need to have multiple days, ideally weeks, between measurements.

Distances in the solar system can be measured in astronomical units (AU), roughly the distance between the Earth and the sun.

If it's interstellar, C/2019 Q4 would reach its closest point to the sun at the end of December, and scientists should be able to observe it through about January 2021.

While 'Oumuamua wasn't seen until it was on its way out of the solar system, C/2019 Q4 is still on its way in - and should remain visible for a year.

Professional stargazer Robert Weryk first spotted the interstellar traveller in October, 2017 at the University of Hawaii's Haleakala Observatory.

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