Observations of the first interstellar comet to be tracked by space researchers, Comet 2I/Borisov, have been coming for the past six weeks and scientists have been more confident with their analysis of the celestial body.
Now, one of the earlier research papers which were based on the rush of observations recently got published in the journal Nature Astronomy. The paper, which got published on Monday, October 14 has confirmed that Comet Borisov has come from outside our solar system and provides preliminary evidence which suggests that the celestial object is not very different from the comets that are present in our solar system.
Whenever there is an interesting space object which comes near us, space researchers try to study it as much as possible, hence the scientists who authored the research paper are not the sole people reaching similar conclusions about the comet, Space.com reported.
However, the findings of the space researchers provided in the new paper give a helpful summary of what all we know so far about the traveled celestial body.
In the research, firstly the astronomers have confirmed that Comet Borisov is an interstellar comet, as originally identified by a software program for scanning location observations of newly identified space objects. The software sent out emails to the scientists when something was found to be promising and later the scientists verified it independently.
Researchers also clicked photographs of Comet Borisov last month on September 10 and 13 with the help of William Herschel Telescope which is located in La Palma, Spain and Gemini North Telescope located in Hawaii. These photos gave an initial idea of how the interstellar comet looks like.
The team of scientists behind this research also discovered that the comet seems to look quite similar to those which originated in our solar system, even though there was no reason to expect that.
The paper also has a third finding, which estimates the size of the rocky core of the comet. According to the calculations of the space researchers, Comet Borisov’s core is estimated to be approximately 1.2 miles (2 kilometres) across. Scientists from another team of researchers had previously estimated it to be somewhere around 0.9 – 4.1 miles (1.4 – 6.6 km).
This is one of the first research papers on Comet Borisov to be published in a major journal, and there are more researches that are likely to follow. Due to the trajectory of Comet Borisov through our solar system and the time it got identified, space researchers have got approximately a year to study the comet. Which essentially leaves a lot of scope and time for research in the coming days.