A new comet that was spotted in August has been declared to be an official interstellar object, as per the IAU’s recent announcement. With this verdict, the object, which is now called 2I/Borisov and was provisionally named Comet C/2019 before, has become a legit interstellar object. The prefix indicates that this comet happens to be the 2nd interstellar object that scientists have discovered to date. 1I/Oumuamua was the first interstellar object that was discovered back in Oct 2017.
The IAU announced that the object’s orbit is well known at the moment. They had confirmed that the object was undoubtedly interstellar in its origin and therefore, the IAU has bestowed it with the status of being the 2nd interstellar object in the solar system with the name 2I. The object was named in honor of its discoverer, Gennady Borisov, who is an amateur astronomer based out of Crimea, added the statement.
By September, scientists and researchers were already speculating on the basis of initial data and information that this was an interstellar object. However, the IAU decided to wait for more evidence and observations before releasing a statement, confirming this belief on September 24.
In order to determine that it was indeed an interstellar object, scientists had to track this comet’s location for a long period before they could confirm that the object had a huge hyperbolic orbit, which was an arc that approached from 1 direction and departed from another, which marked it as another object that was just going through the solar system. The comet has a bigger hyperbolic path compared to other comets that have been studied by scientists to date, stated the IAU. Objects which belong to the Solar System revolve around its Sun in an orbit whose shape resembles an ellipse, which looks like a squished circle.
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