The green comet, formally known as C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), is a comet that was first observed in August 2019. It is the second known interstellar object to enter our solar system and is estimated to have originated from outside the Milky Way.
Here, we will explore the history and significance of the green comet.
History of the Green Comet
The green comet was first spotted by Ukrainian amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov on August 30, 2019. It was initially classified as a minor planet and named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov). Further observations revealed that it had a highly eccentric orbit, which signaled that it was not a local object, but instead came from interstellar space.
Since it’s discovery, the green comet has been observed by several astronomical facilities, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Subaru Telescope, and the Very Large Telescope. These observations have allowed astronomers to better understand the appearance and behavior of the comet.
Significance of the Green Comet
The green comet is of great significance for three main reasons. First, it is the second known interstellar object to enter our solar system, after the first object, ‘Oumuamua, was observed in 2017. The discovery of the green comet suggests that interstellar objects may be common in our solar system, and this could have implications for our understanding of the formation of the Milky Way and its neighboring galaxies.
Second, the green comet is an important source of information about the interstellar medium. Its origin and composition can tell us a great deal about the interstellar environment from which it originated. This information can help us to better understand the formation and evolution of our own solar system.
Finally, the green comet is a unique opportunity for scientists to observe an interstellar object up close. The green comet is estimated to reach its closest approach to the Sun in December 2019, and its position will enable astronomers to get a closer look at it. This observation could provide new insights into the nature of interstellar objects and the formation of our solar system.
The Green Comet in Summary
The green comet is an important astronomical event and its discovery has revolutionized our understanding of interstellar objects. Its origin, composition, and behaviour can tell us a great deal about the interstellar environment and the formation of our own solar system. The green comet also provides us with a unique opportunity to study an interstellar object up close, however to the naked eye, the comet won’t look as green as the picture above.
Feature Image of Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) makes its way through the solar system by ALESSANDRO BIANCONI/EDU INAF/FLCKR/CC BY-SA 2.0