A Traditional Eccentric!
- Feb 16, 2013
- In Existence Somewhere
A telescope in Hawaii has captured a close-up view of comet 2l/Borisov—only the second known interstellar visitor to our Solar System.
As I understand it the thing is doing quite a bit more than the speed needed to escape our solar system's gravity completely. And our solar system's movement through the galaxy has a random component to it, owing to the gravitational tugs it gets from the other stars... so the odds of it having left our solar system and then found its way home are pretty long, slam dunk. The odds of it having originated from another solar system are better, although I don't think anything can be definitively ruled out - and it does have some interesting similarities to comets from our solar system. I found quite an interesting interview with one of the astronomers tracking it here: 164: Postcards to the cosmos with Dr. Bannister — SpacepodBut, is it from this solar system originally? That may be hard, but perhaps not impossible to calculate.
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