Astronomers has spotted signs of water spraying off comet 21/Borisov, which is flying towards the Sun on a journey from interstellar space. This is the first time scientists have seen water in our solar system that originated elsewhere.
Olivier Hainaut, an astronmer at the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany..says the discovery is not surprising because most comets contain much water. What is interesting about this one is being able to confirm it’s presence in a interstellar comet and taking us another step toward understanding how water can move between the stars.
Astronomers have been able to track Borisov since its discovery on August 30th with excitement as the tracking shows the origin in deep space. Possibly billions of years ago it got knocked away from where it was to a trajectory that brought it to us today.
On October 11 scientists spotted the telltale signature of oxygen in the spectre of light coming from the comet..most likely from water breaking apart into hydrogen and oxygen.
Borisov will fly past the Sun in early December, as it gets closer the heat will cause the icy nucleus to spray out gas and dust. A big show for the scientists and a bounty of information to work with.