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Comet visitor from outside our Solar System will wow scientists for months

Submitted by The Verge on September 17, 2019 - 12:03pm

A composite image of C/2019 Q4 taken by the Gemini Observatory. | Image: Gemini Observatory / NSF / AURA

Astronomers have almost certainly detected a second interstellar comet zooming through our Solar System, but there’s still quite a lot of work to be done to find out more about this alien space rock. In the weeks and months to come, astronomers will continue to observe this visitor with as many ground and space-based telescopes as possible to determine if it is, indeed, interstellar and figure out where it came from.

An amateur astronomer, Gennady Borisov, first spotted this object on August 30th with his own telescope in Crimea. At the time, it wasn’t immediately clear that the object — named C/2019 Q4 — wasn’t from around here. As time has passed and more people looked at this thing, they’ve realized that the path that C/2019 Q4 is on...

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