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Old 09-13-2019, 01:36 AM
 
Location: PRC
3,231 posts, read 3,360,329 times
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Gismodo Link 11 Sep 2019
Quote:
An amateur astronomer may have detected an object from outside our solar system, according to an announcement from the Minor Planet Center.
...
Quote:
With more observations of the object, scientists have begun calculating the shape of its orbit. These calculations seem to reveal that the trajectory has a hyperbolic shape—rather than the elliptical shape that characterizes the orbits of things circling the Sun. The trajectory suggests that the object will eventually exit the solar system, never to return.
This is interesting because the one which hits us could be coming in from waaaay out there, so we need to keep an eye on the odd-balls too, not just the one which comes from the Solar System. Interesting too that this was supposed to have been spotted by an amateur who raised the alarm to get other bigger organisations involved.

I thought we had some high-tech program looking for these things? Obviously it misses some.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:36 AM
 
Location: PRC
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Space.com link

Quote:
A Ukrainian skywatcher named Gennady Borisov made the first sighting of C/2019 Q4, on Aug. 30, and caught sight of it again two days later. Since then, six other astronomers have filed observations to the Minor Planet Center's data hub, which houses the Minor Planet Electronic Circular. The data cover Aug. 30 to Sept. 8.
...

Quote:
According to a statement from ESA, C/2019 Q4 is a couple miles (a few kilometers) across and will pass closest to the sun, about 186 million miles (300 million km) away from the sun, in early December. That's about twice the average distance between Earth and the sun.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Here
1,471 posts, read 358,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
Gismodo Link 11 Sep 2019
...

This is interesting because the one which hits us could be coming in from waaaay out there, so we need to keep an eye on the odd-balls too, not just the one which comes from the Solar System. Interesting too that this was supposed to have been spotted by an amateur who raised the alarm to get other bigger organisations involved.

I thought we had some high-tech program looking for these things? Obviously it misses some.
There are far more amateur eyes than official ones out there.

It's the same reason that most comets are, and always have been, discovered by amateurs.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Seattle
2,257 posts, read 483,431 times
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Unfortunately it looks like the trajectory will only carry it within 1 AU of the Earth, the same as the distance from the Earth to the Sun, so there may not be much of a view. It's currently 3 AU from the Sun, and looks to remain outside Mars' orbit with a perihelion of 2.07 AU. There probably won't be a lot of outgassing, alas.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:47 AM
 
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Here's something interesting about the object. It's said to be traveling at a speed of about 93,000 miles per hour. That works out to about 1,550 miles per minute, a little less than 26 miles per second. That'd be like traveling from the border of Canada to Mexico (along the West Coast) in one minute, or traveling around the world about 3.5 times in one hour.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techn...ays/ar-AAHfYTU
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:20 PM
 
Location: PRC
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From the article linked by NightBazaar:
Quote:
The comet -- consisting of an icy body surrounded by a cloud of dust and particles -- is currently approaching the sun, but the closest it is projected to come towards Earth is about 190 million miles, according to the NASA statement.
How do they find out what it is made of?
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:32 PM
Status: "Enjoying life..." (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
39,807 posts, read 57,675,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
From the article linked by NightBazaar:


How do they find out what it is made of?
They know what comets are made of because they observe that comets have dust that reflect light, as well as gas that emits spectral lines of hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Astronomers can analyze the light that these comets give off to see what they are made out of.
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,811 posts, read 1,392,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
From the article linked by NightBazaar:


How do they find out what it is made of?


This video explains that. Also, this is a very good series to learn about astronomy basics:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjy-...h0mIL&index=24
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Too bad the JWST isn't in position yet. I'll bet that could collect some useful data about the object.
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