Interstellar Comet Borisov Looks Pretty Normal, New Observations Suggest | 10/14/1947 | Meghan Bartels
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Observations of the interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov have been flooding in for six weeks, and the more astronomers duplicate one another's work, the more confident they are in their analysis of the object.

The prestigious journal Nature Astronomy has now published one of the earlier papers based on this frantic rush of observations. The new paper both confirms that Comet Borisov comes from outside our solar system and offers preliminary evidence suggesting that the object isn't very different from the comets that clutter our own solar system.

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When an object as interesting as an interstellar comet comes around, astronomers are bound to swing into action to study it as much as possible, so the scientists behind the new paper are hardly the only ones reaching similar conclusions about the object.

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But the findings the scientists lay out in their new paper offers a helpful summary of what we know so far about this well-traveled visitor.

First, the scientists confirmed that Borisov is indeed interstellar, as originally flagged by a software program they have set up to constantly scan location observations of newly spotted objects. The program emails the researchers when something looks promising, and the scientists later verified the interstellar orbit independently.

Astronomers - Images - Comet - Borisov - Sept

The astronomers also took images of Comet Borisov on Sept. 10 and 13, using the William Herschel Telescope in La Palma, Spain, and the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii. Those images gave the team an initial sense of what the...
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