Newly Discovered Comet Is Likely From Another Solar System

Astronomers Believe They Have Discovered New Interstellar Object

Scout is created to flag any asteroids that may pose a hazard to the Earth, but it can also flag potential interstellar objects, like C/2019 Q4.

After the initial detection, NASA's Scout system (located at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California) automatically flagged the object as possibly interstellar. The official confirmation that this object - labled C/2019 Q4 - is interstellar has not yet been made, but if it is, it would be only the second such object detected. And now there are two. But the current measurements of C/2019 Q4's trajectory suggest that such an encounter in the object's past is impossible.

On August 30, Gennady Borisov spotted a new comet while at the MARGO observatory in Crimea. The object, a comet named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), was recently verified by the Minor Planet Center. Formally named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), the object appears to have come from outside our solar system. The object's trajectory was then looked at in more detail by Davide Farnocchia of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, and ESA's Near-Earth Object Coordination Center in Frascati, Italy.

The comet, which is traveling at 93,000 miles per hour, is following a trajectory that doesn't orbit the sun, so researchers believe it could have come from beyond the solar system.

Its current velocity is high-about 93,000 miles per hour, well above what is typical of objects orbiting the Sun at that distance, according to NASA scientist Davide Farnocchia.

"So the question we'll be wanting to answer is: what's the composition of the coma - the fuzzy bit around the comet core".

"The main difference from 'Oumuamua and this one is that we got it a long, long time in advance, " he added. Its orbit resembles the orbits of long-period comets.

In 2017, astronomers discovered the unusual, oblong object-with characteristics of an asteroid and a comet-nicknaming it 'Oumuamua, which translates to "scout" in Hawaiian.

"Established" is a strong word, and our guess is that not every astronomer will agree with it. And of course science fiction fans, like me, are hoping it's something more exciting than a comet, even a (likely) interstellar one.

The object will pass Mars and if it is an interstellar object then scientists will be able to study it till it leaves our solar system in 2021. In the months that followed it's detection, 'Oumuamua's behavior baffled astronomers leading some to view the cosmic prodigy as an alien probe. 'Oumuamua went on its way with many mysteries still unsolved, just as this object will reach its closest point to our sun - its perihelion - on December 8, 2019, at a distance of about 190 million miles (300 million km).

Although many astronomers are excited about C/2019 Q4, more work has to be done to confirm it as interstellar.

The object will peak in brightness in mid-December and continue to be observable with moderate-size telescopes until April 2020.

Professional stargazer Robert Weryk first spotted the interstellar traveller in October, 2017 at the University of Hawaii's Haleakala Observatory. Astronomers use a measurement called eccentricity to determine how circular an object's orbit is: An eccentricity of 0 is perfectly circular, while an eccentricity of 1 is highly elliptical, and anything greater than is hyperbolic.

If you did read it ... you know why I (longingly) mention that quote! The dust could make C/2019 Q4 simpler to track than 'Oumuamua, since dust brightly reflects sunlight.

'Oumuamua only had a quick visit with us in 2017.

Related News:

Most liked

Beto O’Rourke claims Trump inspired El Paso gunman
Spokespeople for the FBI's Houston bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday night. Mr O'Rourke responded: "Clearly, you shouldn't own an AR-15 - and neither should anyone else".

Top horse failed drug test before Triple Crown triumph
That October, the California Horse Racing Board lessened the penalty for horses who test positive for scopolamine. As a result, he shouldn't have been eligible to run in that year's Kentucky Derby .

McIlroy named PGA Tour player of the year
Rory McIlroy captures the biggest cash payout in golf history, claims the FedEx Cup and its $15 million prize. Koepka also won three times, including the PGA Championship and a World Golf Championship.

Did UK government mislead Queen Elizabeth II over parliament prorogation?
This is different to "dissolving" Parliament - where all MPs give up their seats to campaign in a general election. Manuel Cortes, head of the TSSA, called for Johnson to be arrested.

US government plans to ban flavors used in e-cigarettes
Secretary Azar says the FDA will soon issue a regulatory notice for the removal of most flavored vaping products from the market. The announcement comes after parents, health officials and politicians have called for federal action to stem a surge in vaping.

Some US goods' exemption from tariffs to ease tension
By delaying his tariff hike, Trump allowed for the possibility they might make enough progress to avert the increase indefinitely. President Donald Trump , right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping have been locked in a protracted trade war .

Terrence Howard Says He's 'Done' Acting Once 'Empire' Ends
Howard's announcement comes just a few months after he was reportedly being investigated for criminal tax evasion . Asked what he intends to do when the show ends, he told Extra: "I'm done with acting.

Chinese probe successfully lands on far side of moon, sends back images
The other side, most of which can not be seen from the Earth, is called the far side or dark side because most of it is uncharted. Scientists are particularly interested in the geology of the basin as it may help explain how the Moon formed.

Yet another 'Game of Thrones' prequel is coming
It draws inspiration from Martin's recent book "Fire & Blood", which tells the history of House Targaryen in the series' universe. It's likely fans will learn more about the origin of the White Walkers and the Night King as well.

Farmers praise Trump’s plan to revoke water rule
Environmental groups have said the Obama rule was necessary to protect drinking water sources at risk from agribusiness and industry.

Teen allegedly hired hitmen to kill her parents
During a recorded interview with investigators at her home, Hatcher allegedly admitted to the plot, according to the affidavit. Hatcher then said she paid "a black male" $900 for the murder because the first "act was never carried out".

Video Surfaces of New SNL Cast Member Shane Gillis Making Racist Jokes
Saturday Night Live is adding three new faces for season 45 - including the show's first ever Asian-American cast member. Officials from Saturday Night Live did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the hiring of Gillis.

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello show everyone how they make out
As Camilla was Shawn's plus one at his birthday celebration quite a lot could be said about the two. For instance, we all know that they have been caught getting cozy with each other, multiple times.

'Two British-Australian women jailed in notorious Iran prison'
DFAT would not comment further on the three cases due to privacy reasons, and would not confirm whether the cases were related. The two women being detained are Australian-British dual citizens, no further details have been made public.

Former FBI Deputy Andrew McCabe loses appeal to avoid criminal charges
After he was sacked by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018, McCabe set up a GoFund me page and received more than $500,000. McCabe has said his 2018 firing - for what the Justice Department called "lack of candor" - was politically motivated.