March 31, 2021 05:03 GMT
Researchers believe that the comet formed in another solar system and then was launched by jumping another star.
Discovered in 2019 by Russian amateur astronomer Guennadi Borisov, Comet 2I / Borisov is considered the first known interstellar comet and asteroid ‘Oumuamua’ in our solar system as the second interstellar object discovered.
Two new studies of the light passing through the comet’s coma, the dust and gas cloud that engulfed 2I / Borisov as it travels through space, revealed it to be purer than any object hitherto unseen.
In the framework of the first study published in the journal Nature Communications, a team of experts found remarkable similarities between this object and Comet Hale-Bopp visible from Earth in 1996 and 1997 with the naked eye. Scientists Hale-Bopp was only in its second transition through the inner solar system when observed, given how intact and unchanged it was.
However, Comet 2I / Borisov is further intact, so researchers in this study believe it formed in another solar system and then he was fired before he passed another star.
“The fact that the two comets are remarkably similar shows that the environment in which 2I / Borisov emerged was not that different in composition from the early solar environment,” explains Alberto Cellino, co-author of the study.
Observations were made possible thanks to the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope located in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. The Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA), another of ESO’s observatories, was used for the second study published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
The team, led by Bin Yang, an ESO astronomer in Chile, studied the granules the comet released when heated by the Sun. During this process, the icy core of 2I / Borisov developed a coma. compact particles of one millimeter or more, as determined by experts.
Scientists also noted that relative amounts of carbon monoxide and water were changed as the comet lost its layer layers. Therefore, they suggested that 2I / Borisov was made from materials formed in different places within that star system.