Astronomers are excited for this new bizarre coming towards our galaxy far far away from our solar system. Astronomers believe that this could be the second interstellar visitor coming our way after the last one ‘Oumuamua’ which was observed in the year 2017. Scientists have named it as C/2019 Q4 which was actually discovered on August 30. If confirmed, then it would be the second of its kind ever observed.
The estimate projects that the interstellar visitor may not come near the orbit of Earth but may pass through it at a distance of around 190 million miles (300 million km). The official confirmation that whether this is an interstellar or not is yet to be confirmed. As of now, we have only observed a single interstellar which we call as Oumuamua confirmed in October 2017. And if this is the same then we would be having two discovered near our solar system.
It was discovered by Gennady Borisov, a Ukraine based optician on August 30, 2019, at the MARGO observatory in Nauchnij, Crimea. A statement from NASA points it as a “comet” followed by a little brief and i.e.,
The new comet, C/2019 Q4, is still inbound toward the sun, but it will remain farther than the orbit of Mars and will approach no closer to Earth than about 190 million miles (300 million km).
After the initial detections of the comet, Scout system, which is located at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, automatically flagged the object as possibly being interstellar. Davide Farnocchia of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at JPL worked with astronomers and the European Space Agency’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Center in Frascati, Italy, to obtain additional observations. He then worked with the NASA-sponsored Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to estimate the comet’s precise trajectory and determine whether it originated within our solar system or came from elsewhere in the galaxy.
David Farnocchia added that “The comet’s current velocity is high, about 93,000 mph [150,000 kph], which is well above the typical velocities of objects orbiting the sun at that distance. The high velocity indicates not only that the object likely originated from outside our solar system, but also that it will leave and head back to interstellar space”.
As of now, we aren’t sure about the dimensions of the interstellar but its high velocity reflects that its motion originated far away from our solar system. The orbit of the interstellar resembles the orbits of long-period comets. NASA called it as a comet in its announcement but later in another announcement from the European Space Agency, some astronomers gave it a more precise word as an “object”.
The research performed by Karen Meech and her team at the University of Hawaii, represented by NASA reveals that the nucleus of the comet is somewhere between 1.2 and 10 miles ( 2 and 16 km) in diameter.
The official statement was “2019 Q4 was established as being cometary due to its fuzzy appearance, which indicates that the object has a central icy body that is producing a surrounding cloud of dust and particles as it approaches the sun and heats up”.
This coming object could be more than a comet. And if it’s interstellar then this could be the second one after Oumuamua. At the time of discovery of first interstellar visitor, astronomers called it as an alien artefact, perhaps similar to the two Voyager spacecraft which now moving out of our solar system. Also, there there were no signals observed at the time of Oumuamua.
According to NASA, the C/2019 Q4 interstellar visitor will come in reach of potential telescopes for in upcoming months. And on that Farnocchia said “The object will peak in brightness in mid-December and continue to be observable with moderate-size telescopes until April 2020. After that, it will only be observable with larger professional telescopes through October 2020”.
The estimated entry of this interstellar or comet is on December 8, 2019. The NASA confirmed that the scientists or astronomers will keep getting observation and information of this comet or object and will also find its exact trajectory.
Surely, we will go to learn more about this interstellar in the upcoming months and for sure we’ll be knowing the exact trajectory of the object soon. The object is expected to enter in our solar system on October 26, 2019. Within a few months, the interstellar will be visible through professional telescopes.