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    Default Bizarre comet from another star system just spotted


    In the sleepy predawn hours of August 30, a Ukrainian amateur astronomer named Gennady Borisov spotted a strange comet zooming through our solar system. Now, astronomers have provisionally verified that the object, named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), is moving too fast for it to be captured by the sun’s gravity—a sign that it’s most likely an interstellar interloper.

    If these results continue to hold, C/2019 Q4 would be just the second visitor from another star system ever detected, after the 2017 discovery of the enigmatic space rock known as 'Oumuamua. While its origins are not yet entirely certain, C/2019 Q4 is a confirmed comet. Already, astronomers have detected that the object—which is probably a couple miles across—has a coma, the fuzzy sheath of dust and gas that forms as sunlight heats up a comet’s icy surface.

    That means scientists will be able to collect much more data on its composition than they could for 'Oumuamua. For one, C/2019 Q4 is bigger and brighter, which offers more opportunities to study its light and tease out chemical clues. What’s more, astronomers discovered 'Oumuamua only on its way out of the solar system—but C/2019 Q4 is still inbound. It will make its closest approach to the sun on December 7, and it will come closest to Earth, within 180 million miles, on December 29.

    “This is the first highly active object that we've seen coming in from something that formed around another star,” says Michele Bannister, an astronomer at Queen’s University Belfast. Bannister adds that observations of C/2019 Q4 can't pick up in earnest until mid-October, due to its position relative to the blinding sun. But then for months to come, astronomers will turn their gaze skyward to get what may be their best look yet at an interstellar visitor.

    “What’s really fantastic is that this thing should be observable for a year,” says Matthew Holman, interim director of the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, which issued the verification of C/2019 Q4’s path through space Wednesday evening.

    “We get to see one little bit of another solar system,” he adds, “and without necessarily knowing which one it came from, that’s exciting.”.................. much more


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    Default Re: Bizarre comet from another star system just spotted

    Thank you for the interesting scientific aside which I enjoyed reading. On the subject of the comet illustration (the article did say it was an illustration of the astronomical view of the comet), I always inspect these things with the magnifier. Unless the artist has taken extreme liberties with the illustration, at first I thought it looked like a huge basking shark with its mouth open. Then I began an almost microscopic inspection of every bump and hole and this is what I saw and what you can also see. However, we are left with the question. Are all of these images and lights just a product of the artists imagination multiplied by my own? How much of it was actually seen through the telescope?

    A very close inspection by me revealed what appeared to be three widely spaced beams of light coming from the underside of the "comet." The light farthest to the right of the image came from a rather large but faint image of a humanoid figure in a seated position with the light coming from over its left shoulder. Immediately above and behind that image are two more images (or my rich imagination), one being of the form of a Lion or Dog and behind that image, the image of a humanoid form in a very fat space suit. Moving down to the middle of the "shark" or comet, a smaller light emits a long ray. Farther down towards the end of the "comet" is another small light with a long ray emission. If the artists depiction and my imagination were accurate, the imaged creatures are beyond our imagination of giants. Have fun with this one.

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    Default Re: Bizarre comet from another star system just spotted

    Latest from SETI on this matter...

    Quote Posted by Star Tsar (here)
    SETI Institute

    A Visitor From Interstellar Space

    Published 23rd September 2019

    Planetary Astronomer Michael Busch and Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak discuss a recent visit from Comet Borisov, C/2019 Q4.

    I for one will join in with anyone, I don't care what color you are as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this Earth - Malcolm X / Tsar Of The Star

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