In 2019, an amateur astronomer discovered a new comet using his telescope. However, careful analysis of its orbit showed that it is an object that we have not seen before in the solar system. The question is whether it is an exception or if there are more.
Comet Borisov’s speed clearly indicated that it was not an object from the solar system, so it must have come to us from near a completely different star. In the end, the comet flew 300 million kilometers from Earth and began its journey out of the solar system and back into interstellar space.
It was the second sighting object in history – after the famous comet ‘Oumuamua – which came from outside our planetary system.
Oort Cloud – Kingdom of Comets
Regular long-period comets that occasionally visit the inner part of the Solar System come from a spherical cloud much farthest from all the planets, at 2,000-200,000 AU from the Sun.
Here’s a brief explanation: 1 AU (1 AU) is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, or 150 million km. So Earth is 1 AU from the Sun, and the last planet, Neptune, is 30 AU from the Sun. The mentioned Oort cloud begins only 2,000 AU from the Sun and ends at 200,000 AU from the Sun. This is where all known long-period comets come from.
How many guests from outside the solar system visit us?
However, if Comet Borisov reached the interior of the Solar System, it must have also passed through the Oort cloud. This has led astronomers to wonder if there were more of these interstellar comets captured in the Oort Cloud while passing close to the Solar System.
Convince Amir Siraj from Harvard UniversityThat the probability of the appearance of new interstellar comets in our neighborhood can be calculated based on the fact that … the Borisov comet was discovered. Together with his boss, Prof. Afim Lobim Siraj decided to estimate the probability of the appearance of such interstellar comets near the Earth. It turns out that in the same Oort cloud there may be more interstellar comets than bodies formed in the solar system itself.
So why did we make just one interstellar comet? Before, we didn’t have the proper tools to perceive very small, fast objects.
As he argued a few months ago in an interview with Spider’s Web, Prof. Avi Loeb, when the Vera C observatory started. Thus, the above – bold – theory will soon be verified by observation.
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