The First Known Interstellar Comet Will Pass Us This Month

Scientists reveal that an interstellar comet will be passing us in time for New Year. It is the second known interstellar object to enter our solar system, and it will be passing Earth at 177,000 kilometers per hour.

The comet is thought to have been wandering the interstellar space for around 100 million years, entering our solar system at the beginning of 2019. The comet was discovered by Gennady Borisov, a Crimean astronomer, who saw it spotted in front of the Cancer constellation.

Now, the comet bears the name of the one who discovered it, 2I Borisov. Last Sunday, the comet made a turn around the sun and it is now heading back out of the solar system. On its way out, it will pass us on December 28 at a distance of 180 million miles.

The event is awaited by scientists, and its timing is perfect, considering humanity is beginning to explore interstellar space. Our most distant spacecraft, the two Voyagers, recently exited our solar system. Even more, a team of experts is developing a new plan, called Breakthrough Starshot, to launch probes to Alpha Centauri.

Astronomers are prepared for 2I Borisov, which is going to be observed by telescopes all around the globe.

The Borisov comet has a bushy, radiant tail, being shaped like a typical comet, surrounded by a cloud of gas. Back in October, the Hubble telescope got a good look at 2I Borisov, revealing a white knuckle at the head of a bluish fan of light.

According to estimations, the comet will reach peak brightness around December 20. It will come from the general direction of Cassiopeia, and it will exit the solar system through the Telescopium constellation.

Even more, astronomers will be observing Borisov at least until the end of 2020.