Research shows that the interstellar comet 2I / Borisov currently visiting our solar system contains water that originated from another galaxy.
The findings suggest that water-rich comets are not unique to the solar system and that other galaxies are probably formed by similar processes.
By extension, the universe is likely to contain other water-containing, earth-like worlds that have the potential to support extraterrestrial life.
On October 10, experts announced that they had discovered that 2I / Borisov came from a two-star system called & # 39; Kruger 60 & # 39; 13 light years away.
Borisov – named after the Crimean astronomer who discovered it – will pass within approximately 28,000 kilometers of the earth in early December this year.
It runs behind a 100,000-mile-long tail of dust, which is released as the comet melts in the glare of the sun.
After this it goes back to the interstellar space and the Jupiter passes around mid-2020.
2I / Borisov is the second known visitor from outside our solar system and joins the cigar-shaped asteroid 1I / & Oumuamua, which was detected on October 19, 2017.
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The pictured interstellar comet 2I / Borisov, currently visiting our solar system, harboring water from another galaxy, a study has shown
WHAT IS 2I / BORISOV?
2I / Borisov is a comet that came from outside the solar system.
It is believed to have a core with a diameter of approximately 0.9 – 4.1 miles (1.4 – 6.6 kilometers).
The comet was spotted by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov of the MARGOT Crimea Observatory on August 30, 2019.
It will make its closest pass to the sun on December 8, 2019 – but does not come close to one of the planets in the solar system.
2I / Borisov leaves the solar system in the direction of the Telescopium constellation.
According to Polish researchers, it probably comes from the binary red dwarf galaxy Kruger 60.
The comet is only the second interstellar visit that has been seen.
The first was the cigar-shaped asteroid 1I / & # 39; Oumuamua, discovered on October 19, 2017.
Astronomer Adam McKay of the Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA in Maryland and colleagues used the Astrophysical Research Consortium Telescope in New Mexico to analyze 2I / Borisov using so-called spectroscopic observations.
When light from our sun hits the comet, part is absorbed and part is reflected – depending on the elements and connections in the cosmic body.
Thus, by studying the spectra of light received from the 2I / Borisov gas path, scientists can determine the composition of the materials that make up the comet.
McKay and colleagues found an absorption line in the comet's spectra that is consistent with water – with the strength of this suggesting that water comes from 2I / Borisov at a rate of about 113 septillion liters of water per second.
& # 39; Comets have a primitive volatile composition that is thought to reflect the conditions present in their formation area in the protosolar disk & # 39 ;, the researchers wrote in their paper.
& # 39; This makes studies of volatile volatile substances powerful for understanding the physical and chemical processes that occur during the formation of the planet. & # 39;
& # 39; Comet 2I / Borisov offers the opportunity to taste the volatile composition of a comet that is unambiguously from outside our own solar system and imposes limitations on the physics and chemistry of other protostelar disks, ”she added.
Comets in our solar system are usually also water-rich – experts believe that much of the water on Earth has been deposited by comets on our planet.
The researchers model the size of the active water-emitting area on the comet and predict an area of approximately 0.65 square miles (1.7 square kilometers) – a share of 2I / Borisov & whole that matches the composition of comets in the solar system.
The latest findings suggest that water-rich comets are not unique to the solar system and that other galaxies are probably formed by similar processes
Other spectroscopic analyzes have also shown that Borisov releases diatomaceous carbon and cyanide – substances that are also common in comets that revolve around the sun.
In summary, the findings suggest that comets from elsewhere in the universe are probably very similar to those we have seen in our own cosmic neighborhood – suggesting that the conditions that formed our solar system are not unique.
In addition, this increases the likelihood that they are other water-containing, earth-like planets – which might have also supported life's development.
The full findings of the study are being prepared for submission The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
A pre-print of the article, which has not yet been assessed by peers, can be read on the arXiv repository.
2I / Borisov is the second known visitor from outside our solar system and joins the cigar-shaped asteroid 1I / & Oumuamua, which was detected on October 19, 2017
On October 10, experts announced that they had discovered that 2I / Borisov came from a two-star system called & # 39; Kruger 60 & # 39 ;, depicted in the impression of an artist, 13 light-years away
WHAT IS & # 39; OUMUAMUA AND WHAT DO WE KNOW?
A cigar-shaped asteroid called & Oumuamua sailed the earth in October at 97,200 km / h (156,428 km / h).
It was first observed by a telescope on October 19 in Hawaii and was observed 34 times the following week.
It is named after the Hawaiian term for & # 39; explorer & # 39; or & # 39; messenger & # 39; and passed the earth about 85 times the distance from the moon.
It was the first interstellar object in the solar system and astounded astronomers.
At first it was thought that the object could be a comet.
However, it does not exhibit the traditional behavior expected from comets, such as a dusty, water ice particle tail.
The asteroid is up to a quarter of a mile (400 meters) long and very elongated – maybe 10 times as long as it is wide.
That aspect ratio is greater than that of any asteroid or asteroid that has been observed in our solar system so far.
But the somewhat red tint of the asteroid – specifically pale pink – and the varying brightness are remarkably similar to objects in our own solar system.
Around the size of the Gherkin skyscraper in London, some astronomers were convinced that it was controlled by aliens because of the large distance that the object traveled without being destroyed – and the proximity of its journey across the Earth.
Alien Hunters at SETI – The search for alien intelligence at Berkeley University in California said there was a possibility that the rock was "an alien artifact."
But scientists at Queen & # 39; s University Belfast have looked at the object well and said it looks like an asteroid or "planetesimal," as originally thought.
Researchers believe the cigar-shaped asteroid has a & # 39; violent past & # 39; had, after looking at the light reflected from the surface.
They don't know exactly when the violent collision occurred, but they believe that the lone asteroid tumbling will continue for at least a billion years.
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