A rogue ‘pristine’ comet reveals clues about the origins of our Solar System

New studies find the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov is the most "pristine" ever discovered.

Credit: ESO/M. Kormesser
  • Researchers released studies on the composition of the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov.
  • The 'pristine' comet holds clues to the origins and evolution of the Solar System.
  • The comet, discovered in 2019, is only the second interstellar object ever observed.
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    Was ‘Oumuamua a rock or an alien scout? Harvard astronomer talks controversial hypothesis in new book

    Ari Loeb, who suggested in 2018 that the mysterious object was an alien craft, is back to discuss the evidence.

    Credit: NASA/M. Kornmesser, European Southern Observatory/Big Think
  • 'Oumuamua is the first known object we've observed coming to our solar system from somewhere beyond it.
  • Most experts think it was just a very odd rock, but not everyone is so sure.
  • Harvard astronomer Ari Loeb says the evidence is more consistent with it having been a light-sail spacecraft.
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    The Interstellar Object Passing By Is Not Like Anything We’ve Seen

    For the first time, an object from outside our solar system is observed traveling through our neighborhood.

    Artist’s concept of object (EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY/M. KORNMESSER)

    The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) telescope is located near the summit of the Haleakala volcano on Maui, and on October 19, 2017, post-doctoral researcher Rob Weryk noticed something odd moving west at an unusual 6.2° angle. Not sure what it was, he checked the observatory’s backlog and discovered an image of it from the night before. A team led by Karen Meech of University of Hawaii's Institute of Astronomy next examined October 22 imagery of the object captured by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) on the big island at Maunakea. The object’s unique angle of trajectory signified that it had to come from outside our solar system.

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