Even though the comet was officially detected in August of this year, it has come to be known that the Borisov, the thrilling interstellar comet 2I, had been inside the Solar System for quite sometime before that.
After thoroughly examining the sky survey information, astronomers have observed the object to be in images taken as far back as last year’s December.
At the time of discovery, the comet was about 3 astronomical units away from the Sun. this distance is nearly double the distance of the average orbit of Mars. The maximum distance where it can be seen is nearly 8 astronomical units. This is way beyond Jupiter’s orbit.
This discovery is one that aids us in comprehending the characteristics of our interstellar visitor and toughening its trajectory’s calculations.
In a paper, they stated how they discovered 202 images between 1st of October 2018 and this year’s 30th August (the discovery date) that possibly showed the comet.
Last year’s 18th of December was the day for the earliest discovery, at nearly 8 astronomical units away from the sun. For comparison, the average orbit of Jupiter is nearly 5.2 astronomical units away from the Sun.
The researchers stated how it would be exciting to observe whether 2I continues to fit into the characteristics of the dynamically new comets. It is known, when referring to Solar System comets, that the possibility of disintegration in dynamically new comets is 10 times more than short-period comets. This may be due to their feebler structural strength or their immaculate state.
They added how if they continue to observe the 2I they will be in a better position to compare it to our Solar System’s dynamically new comets. This would hence deliver well-timed cautioning in case of any disintegration (outburst).