In the summer of 2019, an unknown object from an unknown star entered our solar system. It was the first interstellar comet ever. Nobody knew whether it was made of space or how long it was made. On Earth, Gennady Borisov, an amateur astronomer from Ukraine, was the first to see it and was named 2I / Borisov in his honor.
By then, only one object was known from another solar system: the asteroid Oumuamua, whose strange shape has been speculating since observation in 2017. “Interstellar Comets?” Cosmic Iceberg? Alien space debris? “” Asked Die new york timesThe latest theory is that it broke far away from a planet like Pluto.
These rare objects are exciting, like a time capsule that holds information about other inaccessible stars. Manned spacecraftAnd possibly on the planet around them. The Sun and its surrounding planets including the Earth move at a speed of 220 kilometers per second through the Milky Way. During this trip, it is possible that we will get so close to the second solar system that a comet or asteroid will be taken into the Sun’s gravitational field orbiting giant planets like Jupiter or Saturn. These visitors can stay stuck in their new home forever or go through the right place and return to interstellar space.
Researchers speculate that there may be giant gas planets in this solar system that attracted gravity to the comet
Astronomers therefore think that Oumuamua and 2I / Borisov have arrived, and are tempted to consider whether such astronauts arrived to sow important elements from one star to another and even to other planets. Can. This week two teams of astronomers presented the results of Borisov observations with two of the most powerful telescopes on Earth.
The first team tried to understand when this comet formed and how its long journey through space affected it. Astronomers focused on Borisov using the Very Large Telescope, a telescope facility operated by the European Southern Observatory in the Chilean Atacama Desert. He compared the observations with other known comets. It resembles only Hel-Bop, a comet discovered in 1995 that was so bright that it could be seen with the naked eye in the night sky for 18 months. Results of the first study published this week Nature communicationIndicates that Borisov is even more intact.
The study’s authors wrote, “Comet 2I / Borisov most likely never passed by the Sun or any other star and may represent the first-seen ancient comet.” Pure means old, so it is possible that the raw material is dust and gas, which is roughly the same as the material around the Sun, shortly after its birth, about 4.5 billion years before solar energy planets came into existence. Researchers believe that since its inception, Borisov has never been close enough to a star to disintegrate.
Second study published by the magazine NaturastronomyShows that comets contain particles and pebbles of different sizes. Bin Yang, an astronomer at the European Southern Observatory, analyzed Borisov with the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA), which is currently the largest radio telescope in the world. Their results suggest that the comet is a mixture of materials from different parts of the solar system from which it originated.
The researchers speculated that there might be giant gas planets in this solar system that attracted the comet with its gravitational bridge. Borisov currently has 10 astronomical units, or about 1.4 billion kilometers from Earth, says Louisa Lara, a researcher at the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics. “It will continue to move away from us and leave our solar system in about 15,000 years,” she said. Lara Rosetta was part of the mission’s scientific team, which sent European space probes to investigate Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It was found that oxygen and organics are important for the origin of life on Earth.
Astro Often reminds people that the basic elements for life came from space to Earth, perhaps on comets’ backs. Glycine, an amino acid that may be one of the first building blocks for the formation of living molecules such as RNA, has been found on comets. In his opinion, the two studies published this week are consistent with what a comet would expect, although it is formed in another solar system, this is consistent with studies that exist in our own solar system.