An ‘alien spaceship-shaped object’ invading solar system at the speed of 1.5 lakh kmph

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Published: September 16, 2019 7:01:15 PM

An object which is considered to be alien to solar system was spotted on August 30 by the MARGO observatory in Crimea.

NASA, Oumuamua, interstellar objectArtist’s impression of the interstellar asteroid `Oumuamua. (Image: European Southern Observatory/M. Kornmesser)

A strange spaceship-shaped object passing through the Solar System was spotted in October 2017 by the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii. The object which was later named as ‘Oumuamua’. The matter of spotting a spaceship-shaped object became a subject of speculation whether it was really an alien spaceship. But, the object was eventually declared to be an interstellar object by the scientists. It was the first such known visitor to the Solar System.

A similar phenomenon might be happening soon. It appears that a second foreign to solar system object is paying a visit. The MARGO observatory in Crimea spotted a comet on August 30, which according to astronomers might have originated from outside the Solar System, but an official confirmation is yet awaited.

This foreign interstellar object which is probably a comet has been named as ‘C/2019 Q4 – Borisov’. This object is still inbound toward the Sun. The object possesses no threat to the Earth. According to a statement of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA, this interstellar object will remain quite far from the Earth. This speculated comet will not approach closer than 300 million km to the Earth.

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The scouting system of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) after the initial detections of the comet, automatically flagged the object as a possible interstellar object. The JPL scientists at the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies of NASA, Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre of European Space Agency, and the Minor Planet Center in Massachusetts (NASA-sponsored), estimated the precise trajectory of the comet to determine its origin and find out whether it is an interstellar object or is from within the solar system.

In the statement issued by JPL, David Farnocchia of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies stated that the current velocity of the comet is quite high and is around 150,000 kilometre per hour. The velocity of this object is well above the typical velocities of objects that orbit the Sun at that distance. Such high velocity is not only the indicator of that the object has probably originated from outside our Solar System, but also that it will probably leave and head back to interstellar space again.

The comet was 420 million kilometres from the Sun on Thursday. The interstellar object is heading directly toward the inner Solar System. There are high chances that on October 26, this object will pass through the ecliptic plane. It is the plane in which the planets orbit around the Sun from above at roughly a 40-degree angle.

The object can be seen using a professional telescope until October 2020. Experts said that one can observe the object from a moderate-size telescope from mid-December till April 2020 and it will be visible only with professional telescope till October next year.

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