Why could comet Borisov's presence in the solar system prove fatal to them?


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Borisov's interstellar comet, which was first discovered at the end of August 2019, immediately became the "superstar" of all astronomical news on the planet. The fact is that the birthplace of the spacewalker is not at all familiar with the sun, but a distant star system in the constellation Cassiopeia. However, it seems that an ice comet's thousand-year flight could be the last one for them: the core of this huge "snow" falls apart immediately and the comet melts when it passes by the sun.

Comet 21 / Borisov is about to melt

The comet Borisov disappears

The cosmic snowball, which had flown to us from unimaginable cosmic depths, behaved for a long time as it was supposed to behave like an ordinary interstellar comet. The comet left a bright trail of matter that evaporated into the universe and flew into the solar system at a frenzied speed and hurried directly towards our star. However, instead of quietly leaving the environment of our planet and flying somewhere deeper into our galaxy, Borisov's comet is still within the confines of the solar system, which has recently been increasingly illuminated by eruptions of unknown origin, writes sciencealert.com.

Scientists explain such a strange behavior of the ice hiker as his possible quick death. The fact is that 2I / Borisov breaks out more and more material during the outbreak, but gradually dissolves and becomes less and less with each outbreak. In other words, a comet from the Cassiopeia constellation can ingloriously end its existence in the near future by spraying all of its substance into the space around it.

The fact that Borisov's comet came to us to "die" was first told by Polish researchers from Jagiellonian University in Kraków who managed to record unusual comet activity. Scientists argue that the processes they observe indicate persistent fragmentation of the core, which will sooner or later lead to its disintegration. However, such a sad event for Borisov's comet could be good news for Earth experts. So the death of a space traveler can tell about the inner composition of an object from another star system and how often the ingredients of life are found in our universe.

Gennady Borisov – the man who first managed to spot an interstellar comet

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One of the most significant dates in the life story of comet Borisov was December 8, 2019, when the ice object reached its perihelion – the closest approach to the sun. It was this significant event for the comet and terrestrial astronomers that made it possible to determine the frequency of 21 / Borisov and the comet's orbit.

So far, scientists have only distinguished two types of comets based on data on their periodicity. Short-period comets usually come from the Kuiper belt – a kind of "crèche" for many transneptune objects. Kuiper belt comets, born in this dark and incredibly distant place, make a complete revolution around the sun about every 200 years. Such “belonging to one's own” protects comets that are more likely to remain intact during their passage in the sun.

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It is strictly forbidden that long-period comets enter the territory of the solar system: they fall into the gravitational trap of our sun, comets that come to us from the depths of the galaxy disintegrate much more often than short-period comets that “look like neighbors every few hundred years ". Analysis of the color and composition of 2I / Borisov showed that it is very similar to long-period comets and therefore decay due to warming by the sun was expected but not guaranteed.

In any case, astronomers will continue to closely monitor 2I / Borisov's activity, and perhaps in the near future it will be the comet discovered last year that may reveal the origin of life in the universe.

In the meantime, Hi-News.ru has already written that some comets in the solar system sometimes behave rather weird. Some of them can even "stick together" like snowballs. You can read about the reasons for this cosmic behavior in this article.