COBS NEWS Archive

Sep. 14, 2019

Astronomers May Have Found an Interstellar Comet. Here's Why That Matters.

It’s looking likely that a newly discovered comet is actually an interstellar interloper from beyond our solar system. Since its discovery on 30 August, more and more measurements of C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)—named after the amateur astronomer from Crimea who found it—indicate it isn’t orbiting our Sun. Even NASA now says the comet’s extrasolar origin is promising.

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Sep. 14, 2019

Interstellar 2.0

Astronomers have spotted an object that looks likely to be a very rare visitor from outside our Solar System. If confirmed, this unusual body would be only the second interstellar object ever detected passing through our neighbourhood.

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Sep. 13, 2019

Newly discovered comet is likely interstellar visitor

A newly discovered comet has excited the astronomical community this week because it appears to have originated from outside the solar system. The official confirmation that comet C/2019 Q4 is an interstellar comet has not yet been made, but if it is interstellar, it would be only the second such object detected.

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Sep. 12, 2019

A possible interstellar comet

A new comet just discovered by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov is rocketing through the solar system too fast for the sun's gravity to hang onto it. Indeed, it appears to be a visitor from the stars. Interstellar Comet Borisov will make its closest approach to the sun and to Earth in Dec. 2019.

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Aug. 14, 2019

An Unexpected Companion

Last week marked five years since ESA’s Rosetta probe arrived at its target, a comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (or 67P/C-G). Tomorrow, 13 August, it will be four years since the comet, escorted by Rosetta, reached its perihelion – the closest point to the Sun along its orbit.

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Jul. 02, 2019

'Oumuamua is not an alien spacecraft. New analysis suggests a natural origin for our first interstellar visitor.

Early reports of the interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua's odd characteristics led some to speculate that the object could be an alien spacecraft, sent from a distant civilization to examine our star system. But a new analysis by an international team of 14 astronomers strongly suggests that 'Oumuamua has a purely natural origin.

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Jun. 22, 2019

ESA to Launch Comet Interceptor Mission in 2028

With Comet Interceptor, ESA plans to meet a comet on its first trip into the inner solar system. The mission was selected Wednesday after a fast-track proposal process and will be developed on a rapid (for ESA) timeline, with a launch planned for 2028. Congratulations to the Comet Interceptor team on their selection!

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Jun. 20, 2019

ESA's new mission to intercept a Comet

'Comet Interceptor' has been selected as ESA's new fast-class mission in its Cosmic Vision Programme. Comprising three spacecraft, it will be the first to visit a truly pristine comet or other interstellar object that is only just starting its journey into the inner Solar System.

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May. 30, 2019

Comet inspires chemistry for making breathable oxygen on Mars

Researchers have demonstrated a new reaction for generating oxygen that could help humans explore the universe and perhaps even fight climate change at home.

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May. 25, 2019

Comet Provides New Clues to Origins of Earth's Oceans

The mystery of why Earth has so much water, allowing our "blue marble" to support an astounding array of life, is clearer with new research into comets. Comets are like snowballs of rock, dust, ice, and other frozen chemicals that vaporize as they get closer to the Sun, producing the tails seen in images. A new study reveals that the water in many comets may share a common origin with Earth's oceans, reinforcing the idea that comets played a key role in bringing water to our planet billions of years ago.

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