ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

22/10/19
The space industry in the UK and the rest of the world was excited to hear that NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has observed an impressive interstellar comet.

It took the image of the comet 2l/Borisov last Saturday (October 12th), showing a central concentration of dust around the nucleus.

The photo offers astronomers the clearest view of the comet to date, with this being the second intersetellar object that has been captured passing through the solar system.

Two years ago, an object named Oumuamua was pictured within 24 million miles of the Sun before it disappeared out of the solar system.

David Jewitt, from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and leader of the Hubble team who saw the comet, said: “Whereas Oumuamua appeared to be a rock, Borisov is really active, more like a normal comet. It's a puzzle why these two are so different."

This could help the space industry learn more about interstellar objects, including their chemical composition, dust characteristics and structure.

Borisov was snapped 260 million miles away from earth heading past the sun. NASA believes if it continues its trajectory, it will get nearest the sun on December 7th, at which point it will be twice as far from the sun as it is from earth.

It is travelling at 110,000 miles per hour, meaning it will pass Jupiter 500 million miles away by the middle of next year.

This was such a rare sighting, it is thought it will journey for millions of years before getting close to another star system.

Later next year on February 5th, NASA, together with the European Space Agency, will launch the Solar Orbiter, with the spacecraft designed to find out the behaviour of the sun by looking at its outer atmosphere and the constant outflow of solar wind.

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