- Title: Meet Crimea astronomer who discovered new interstellar comet
- Date: 18th September 2019
- Summary: SIMFEROPOL AREA, CRIMEA (SEPTEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) ASTRONOMER GENNADY BORISOV, SAYING: "I was thinking - what can I do to discover another comet, because my previous discovery happened two and a half years ago, on March 1 2017. It was also quite an interesting comet. And throughout these two and a half years I tuned the equipment and tried to find a new object. My eighth comet was a logical discovery due to good equipment, persistence and a lot of observation." SKY MAP SHOWN ON SCREEN VARIOUS OF SPACE EXPLORATION CENTER OBSERVATORY TOWER CLOSING
- Embargoed: 2nd October 2019 19:04
- Keywords: space exploration NASA interstellar object interstellar comet space Crimea scientst
- Location: SIMFEROPOL AREA, CRIMEA / HAWAII BIG ISLAND, U.S.A. / GRAPHICS
- City: SIMFEROPOL AREA, CRIMEA / HAWAII BIG ISLAND, U.S.A. / GRAPHICS
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Science,Space Exploration
- Reuters ID: LVA004AX6Q72F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Russian scientist living in the annexed Crimea has registered a new comet which is likely to be a unique 'interstellar visitor', a likely prospect that would make it the second such interstellar object observed in our planetary neighborhood.
The trajectory of a newly discovered object hurtling toward the orbit of Mars, first detected by Crimean astronomer Gennady Borisov, follows a highly curved path barreling in the sun's direction at unusually high speeds, evidence that it originated beyond the solar system.
The comet, an apparent amalgam of ice and dust, is expected to make its closest approach to the sun on Dec. 8, putting it 190 million miles (300 million km) from Earth, on a route believed unique to such objects of interstellar origin.
Borisov who has previously registered seven other comets said he made the discovery with a telescope he assembled and tuned himself.
"It is a big telescope for me, but it is a small one in terms of international telescope listing. But it still has great characteristics," - he said.
Once confirmed interstellar, the comet - dubbed C/2019 Q4 by astronomers - would become only the second such body ever observed by scientists.
The first was a cigar-shaped comet dubbed 'Oumuamua - a name of Hawaiian origin meaning a messenger from afar arriving first - that sailed into our planetary neighborhood in 2017, prompting initial speculation that it may have been an alien spacecraft. Astronomers soon reached a consensus that it was not.
Unlike 'Oumuamua, which visited the solar system for only a week, the newfound comet will linger near Mars' orbit for almost a year, giving scientists ample time to characterize its chemical signatures and seek further clues about its origin.
Borisov said his groundbreaking observation which happened on August 30, was not made by pure luck: "My eighth comet was a logical discovery due to good equipment, persistence and a lot of observation," he said.
(Production: Anton Derbenev, Masha Vasilieva)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None