We all heard about Oumuamua. However, now, Hubble Space Telescope studied the first real interstellar comet. Even though we don’t know where the so-called Comet 2I/Borisov came from, Hubble confirmed that this one is indeed an interstellar visitor.
Hubble Space Telescope Confirmed That 2I/Borisov Is An Interstellar Comet
A Crimean amateur astronomer, Gennady Borisov, spotted the new interstellar comet on August 30th, 2019. This comet is the second-known space rock that comes from outside our solar system. Since Borisov spotted the comet, astronomers from around the world have turned their attention to it.
Hubble Space Telescope was the first to take a high-resolution image of the 2I/Borisov. At that moment, the interstellar comet was at about 260 million miles from Earth. According to the observations, 2I/Borisov is indeed a comet, leaving a trail of dust and ice that surrounds an unseen nucleus.
Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov Vs. Oumuamua
Oumuamua was the first interstellar visitor we have ever spotted. However, astronomers couldn’t figure out what precisely is Oumuamua since it did not behave like a comes and also had lots of unusual traits. But 2I/Borisov is indeed the first interstellar comet to visit our solar system, and the Hubble Space Telescope confirmed that with a series of images.
“Whereas ‘Oumuamua appeared to be a rock, Borisov is really active, more like a normal comet. It’s a puzzle why these two are so different,” explained David Jewitt from the UCLA and the Hubble team’s leader.
“Though another star system could be quite different from our own, the fact that the comet’s properties appear to be very similar to those of the solar system’s building blocks is very remarkable,” added Amaya Moro-Martin from the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD.
In short, Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov are the only interstellar visitor that astronomers spotted so far. However, between the two, 2I/Borisov is the first confirmed interstellar comet. Below, you can enjoy a video from NASA Goddard regarding the Hubble Space Telescope’s observations on 2I/Borisov: