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Scientists say the rogue comet 2I / Borisov is America’s “most beautiful” of all time

In the summer of 2019, an unknown object from an unknown star came into our solar system. It is the first galaxy ever seen. No one knows what it was made of or how long it traveled in space. On Earth, it was first seen by an amateur astronomer from Ukraine, Gennady Borisov, and named 2I / Borisov in his memory.

Until then, only one object was known from another solar system: the asteroid Omuwamuwa, whose strange shape has led to speculation since it was observed in 2017. “Galactic comet? Cosmic glacier? Alien space wreck?” He asked New York Times DieThe latest theory is that it erupted somewhere from a planet like Pluto.

These rare objects are as exciting as a time capsule that holds information about other stars that are inaccessible Of man’s spacecraftAnd may be on the planet around them. The Sun and the planets around it, including Earth, move through the Milky Way at a speed of 220 kilometers per second. During this journey, we will come very close to another solar system, where a comet or asteroid will be absorbed into the Sun’s gravitational field or into the orbits of giant planets such as Jupiter or Saturn. These visitors can be stuck in their new home forever or go into galaxy space.

Researchers speculate that there may have been giant gas planets in this solar system that gravitated to comets

Astronomers therefore think that Omumuwa and 2i / Borisov have arrived, prompting astronauts like this to consider whether they could carry vital elements from one star to another and even to other planets for sowing. This week two teams of astronomers presented the results of Borisov’s observation with two of the most powerful telescopes on Earth.

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The first team tried to understand when this comet formed and how its long journey through space affected it. Astronomers focused on Boriso using a very large telescope equipped with a telescope operated by the European Southern Laboratory in the Atacama Desert in Chile. They compared their observations with other known comets. It only resembles the comet Hale-Pop, discovered in 1995, and was so bright that it was visible to the naked eye in the night sky for 18 months. The results of the first study published this week Natural contactBorisov indicates that it is still intact.

“Comet 2 I / Borisov will most likely not pass over the Sun or any other star, marking the first beautiful comet ever seen,” the authors wrote. Purity means that it is old, so it is possible that the raw material is dust and gas, which is similar to what the Sun was like about 4.5 billion years after its birth, even before the planets of our solar system existed. From the beginning, researchers believe that Borisov did not come close enough to decompose a star.

The second study published by the magazine NaturastronomyShows that the comet has different sizes of particles and pebbles. Bin Yang, an astronomer at the Southern European Laboratory, analyzed Boriso with the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA), currently the world’s largest radio telescope. Their results suggest that comets are a combination of objects that have emerged from different parts of the solar system.

Researchers speculate that there may have been giant gas planets in this solar system, which attracted comets by gravity. Louisa Laura, a researcher at the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics, explains that Borisov is currently 10 astronomical units or about 1.4 billion kilometers from Earth. “It will continue to move away from us and leave our solar system in 15,000 years,” he said. Laura was part of the scientific team of the Rosetta Mission, the European space agency sent to study the 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. It found that oxygen and organisms were essential for the origin of life on Earth.

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The Astronomy It often reminds people that the basic materials for life came from space to Earth, probably on the backs of comets. The amino acid glycine, one of the first building blocks for the formation of living molecules such as RNA, has been found in comets. In his opinion, the two studies published this week are in line with the expectations of a comet because, although it formed in another solar system, it is consistent with studies in our own solar system.