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Oh, the Places You—Came From?

3 Jan 2020, 16:01 UTC
Oh, the Places You—Came From?
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Title: A search for the origin of the interstellar comet 2I/BorisovAuthors: Coryn A.L. Bailer-Jones, Davide Farnocchia, Quanzhi Ye, Karen J. Meech, and Marco MicheliFirst Author’s Institution: Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, GermanyStatus: Submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysics [closed access], preprint on arxivTo our knowledge, 2I/Borisov is the second interstellar object to pass through our solar system (its discovery is highlighted in this Astrobite). Unlike the first visitor, 1I/‘Oumuamua, 2I/Borisov is very distinctly a comet. It was discovered by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov (who had discovered seven comets prior to this one) at the end of August 2019.The tell-tale of a passing interstellar object is its extreme orbit — it will likely never swing by the Sun again. The nature of 2I/Borisov became evident within a few weeks following its discovery, and astronomers were able to pick it out in older observations going all the way back to December 2018.
Figure 1. The location and trajectory of 2I/Borisov as of December 29, 2019, showing its orbit relative to those of the solar system planets. 2I/Borisoc is traveling right to left in this figure [NASA/JPL].In the paper discussed in this Astrobite, astronomers try to determine which star system 2I/Borisov was ejected ...

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