The newly recognized comets are the brightest spacecraft ever seen on our Solar System, according to two studies released Tuesday describing different features.
Pristine, an astronomer, describes a comet that has never been long enough for a star to be transformed by its tempting heat.
2I / Borisov was discovered in 2019 by Ukrainian astrophysicist Gennady Borisov at the MARGO Observatory in Crimea and is only the second of the stars found in our planetary system.
The first – an asteroid known as Oumaumua, meaning “Scout” in the Hawaiian language – scientists are confused about places they have never seen before.
Both of these objects had unparalleled trajectors by the Sun, suggesting that they came through a deep space from another Solar system.
Writing in the journal Nature Communications, the international team explains that the 2I / Borisov comma – a modest envelope around the comet’s nucleus – is illuminated at a higher rate than conventional comets.
This is evidence that the comet probably did not pass near its star before taking its internal journey.
Heat from a star can shrink comet particles, releasing dust particles.
The lighter particles form the tail of a comet while the heavier ones back up, forming crust.
Looking at a comet’s tail can help scientists determine if it is clean – or strong -.
Fake writer Lioudmila Kolokolova from the Department of Astronomy at the University of Maryland described the findings of a comma, a cloud of gas and particles covering the comet.
“Since we have noticed a similar comma, with the exception of jigsaw puzzles and so on, we think this comet has no cracks,” he told AFP.
“It’s therefore pure, not too sensitive to charged radiation and particles.”
Investigators say that only one comet – Hale-Bopp, discovered by astronomers in 1995 – had shown the same brightness.
The second paper, published in Nature Astronomy, analyzed the dust in 2I / Borisov’s coma and found that it contained “tiny” pages.
This combined dust of rock may have led to its formation, “probably due to the immense maturity of planets as large as our Solar system” according to lead author Bin Yang, a astronomer at the European Southern Observatory.
He said indications were that the design of 2I / Borisov was “very similar to the comet system”.
There may be more space objects in space in this vast area than the two seen so far in our Solar System, he added.
“We think there are a lot of asteroids and comets orbiting other stars,” he told AFP.
“However, because of the great distance between us and other stars, the chances of finding these wandering objects are very low.”
Even using the largest telescope available to hunt comet, scientists are expected to find one such object every year, he said.