Bizarre comet from another star system just spotted
Discovered by an amateur astronomer, the inbound object is only the second of its kind yet detected.
In the sleepy predawn hours of August 30, a Ukrainian amateur astronomer named Gennady Borisov spotted a strange comet zooming through our solar system. Now, astronomers have provisionally verified that the object, named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), is moving too fast for it to be captured by the sun’s gravity—a sign that it’s most likely an interstellar interloper.
If these results continue to hold, C/2019 Q4 would be just the second visitor from another star system ever detected, after the 2017 discovery of the enigmatic space rock known as 'Oumuamua. While its origins are not yet entirely certain, C/2019 Q4 is a confirmed comet. Already, astronomers have detected that the object—which is probably a couple miles across—has a coma, the