Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Orbital Path of Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov

Orbital Path of Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov
Deep Space Visitor Provides Clues to Birth of Planetary Systems
This illustration shows the path of comet 21/Borisov through our Solar System. This visitor came from interstellar space along a hyperbolic trajectory. It is only the second known intruder to zoom through our Solar System (the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua was detected in 2017).

As the graphic shows, the comet’s straight path across interstellar space is slightly deflected by the gravitational pull of our Sun. The comet is travelling so fast, at over 155 000 kilometers per hour, it will eventually leave the Solar System.


The panel on the right shows the comet’s position relative to Earth when the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observed it on October 12, 2019, when it was 420 million kilometers from Earth.

Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Olmsted, F. Summers (STScI)
Release Date: October 16, 2019


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