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Comet Borisov Dwarfs The Earth / Space Station Wings Overhead For Thanksgiving

28 Nov 2019, 05:02 UTC
Comet Borisov Dwarfs The Earth / Space Station Wings Overhead For Thanksgiving
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Yale astronomers Pieter van Dokkum, Cheng-Han Hsieh, Shany Danieli, and Gregory Laughlin captured the image of Comet 2I/Borisov on Nov. 24, 2019 using the W.M. Keck Observatory’s Low-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer in Hawaii. A spectrometer analyzes an object’s light to determine its composition. The image at right shows the Earth in comparison. Borisov’s tail is nearly 100,000 miles (161,000 km) long or 14 times the size of our planet!
Yale astronomers have taken a new, close-up image of the interstellar comet 2l/Borisov. And to help us appreciate the size of the comet they’ve included our planet for comparison. Discovered by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov in August this year, the comet will come closest to the sun on Dec. 8 at a distance of 186 million miles and then swing by Earth on Dec. 28 a few million miles closer.
The comet is the first discovered that originated from beyond our solar system, what astronomers call an interstellar comet. They suspect it was ejected during a close approach to a giant Jupiter-like planet in a star system elsewhere in our galaxy. No one can point to its parent sun, but this icy sibling grows a tail each and every time it passes ...

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