The second interstellar comet already has its official name

Share:

A name worthy of an object of this class.

At the beginning of September, news spread around the world that on August 30, Russian-Ukrainian amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov discovered in the Crimean Astronomical Observatory, with the help of his own telescope, mysterious object. This object, due to later observations, quickly determined the likely interstellar comet, i.e. one that came from outside the solar system. Now she has received her official name.

Until now, this comet had only a classic astronomical designation, taking into account the fact that it is a comet and that it was discovered in the second half of August 2019 – C / 2019 Q4. Only unofficially the comet was called Borisov (from the name of the explorer).

According to the researchers, the aforementioned classic designation did not match the object because Borisov is not an object from the solar system, and such comets are called that way. That is why the International Astronomical Union just gave it an official name, which corresponds much better to its characteristics.

From now on, the interstellar comet is known as 2I / Borisov. Of course, the second part of the name talks about the discoverer of the object, while the first part indicates that Borisov is the second known interstellar object (I -> interstellar -> interstellar). Recall that the first interstellar object observed was 1I /'Oumuamua.

Although Oumuamua was officially classified as a comet, scientists are still arguingwhether Oumuamua is really a comet or an asteroid (according to some it may be a remnant of the comet). Astronomers are much more confident about 2I / Borisov, whose photo clearly indicates that he is a comet. In the title photo you can clearly see the coma and tail, which was not observed in the case of the Oumuamua object.

At the moment 2I / Borisov is quite close to the Sun, which greatly hinders its observations. As soon as he gets away from the sun again, which will happen after December 7, you will be able to take a closer look at it. Then astronomers will use a larger range of telescopes to observe it, which may help us learn more about its origin.

Source: International Astronomical Union