Gemini observatory captures multicolor image of first-ever interstellar comet

Gemini observatory captures multicolor image of first-ever interstellar comet
Gemini Observatory two-color composite image of C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) which is the first interstellar comet ever identified. This image was obtained using the Gemini North Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) from Hawaii's Maunakea. The image was obtained with four 60-second exposures in bands (filters) r and g. Blue and red dashes are images of background stars which appear to streak due to the motion of the comet. Composite image by Travis Rector. Credit: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA

The first-ever comet from beyond our Solar System has been successfully imaged by the Gemini Observatory in multiple colors. The image of the newly discovered object, denoted C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), was obtained on the night of 9-10 September using the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph on the Gemini North Telescope on Hawaii's Maunakea.

"This image was possible because of Gemini's ability to rapidly adjust observations and observe objects like this, which have very short windows of visibility," said Andrew Stephens of Gemini Observatory who coordinated the observations. "However, we really had to scramble for this one since we got the final details at 3:00 am and were observing it by 4:45!"

The image shows a very pronounced tail, indicative of outgassing, which is what defines a cometary object. This is the first time an interstellar visitor to our Solar System has clearly shown a tail due to outgassing. The only other interstellar visitor studied in our Solar System was 'Oumuamua which was a very elongated asteroid-like with no obvious outgassing.

The Gemini observations used for this image were obtained in two color bands (filters) and combined to produce a . The observations were obtained as part of a target of opportunity program led by Piotr Guzik and Michal Drahus at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland). The research team has submitted a paper for publication.

C/2019 Q4 is currently close to the apparent position of the Sun in our sky and is consequently difficult to observe due to the glow of twilight. The comet's hyperbolic path, which is evidence of its origin beyond our Solar System, will bring it to more favorable observing conditions over the next few months.

C/2019 Q4 was discovered by Russian amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov on 30 August, 2019.


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Newly discovered comet is likely interstellar visitor

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Citation: Gemini observatory captures multicolor image of first-ever interstellar comet (2019, September 13) retrieved 15 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-09-gemini-observatory-captures-multicolor-image.html
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Sep 13, 2019
Does it share approximate 'radiant' with 'Oum, or is it just coming through 'Wild & Wide' ?

Sep 14, 2019
nik, could you please explain what you mean by "radiant"?
because the way i would interpret "radiant" is how much the object's surface reflects sunlight?

in my (unproven) opinion Oumuamua is an asteroid
specifically a large shard of core material
similar to what might be found if Ceres was shattered by a major collision

C/2019 Q4 is proving to be a comet
two completely different cosmic orphans with unique surface materials

if i understand the tentative projected course for C/2019 Q4?
it will not approach our Sun any closer than about Mars orbit?

i wonder if that will be close enough to the Sun's energies to cause the comet to grow a visible tail?

Sep 14, 2019

if i understand the tentative projected course for C/2019 Q4?
it will not approach our Sun any closer than about Mars orbit?

i wonder if that will be close enough to the Sun's energies to cause the comet to grow a visible tail?


would be nice if article mentioned its approx closest earth approach

but as article does mention it already has a tail

Sep 14, 2019
would be nice if article mentioned its approx closest earth approach

but as article does mention it already has a tail


See: https://phys.org/...tor.html

Sep 14, 2019
@rrwillsj Oumuamua was clearly not an asteroid from our solar system (which I think is what you imply), because its hyperbolicity of 1.2 was beyond what's possible for solar system objects. Furthermore its speed was higher than the escape velocity of our solar system, and (due to the high hyperbolicity) it doesn't appear it was accelerated by any gravitational interaction in our own system to that speed. The most likely reason it produced no gases is due to its very hard surface and lack of ice. Ice is the telltale signature of comets. So it was an extrasolar fragment or asteroid, but not a comet.

C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), in contrast, is an extrasolar comet, made at least partly of ice. It has a very high hyperbolicity of ~3(!) so there is no question about it being extrasolar. Astronomers are lucky because they found it on its way into the solar system, rather than on its way out (like Oumuamua) so they can examine it much better. Its tail will almost certainly get brighter.

Sep 14, 2019
#rrw: https://en.wikipe..._shower)

Perhaps 'radiant' was a weak choice of words, but more appropriate terminology for warily asking 'has it come from similar interstellar direction' eluded me...

Based on a small sample (2), I see no problem with one chunk having much active ice, another very little. Both appear to be shards, perhaps from different zones of parent object. Too soon to say...

Sep 14, 2019
#rrwillsj
Radiant is a term used by astronomers to say the general direction on the celestial sphere an object is originating from. Much different than radiance etc. The term is most common with meteor showers. I.e, meteor shower has a radiant within the lower portion of Orion constellation

Sep 14, 2019
red, i mistakenly thought nik was talking about albedo
when instead, he was meaning course

nik, thank you for clarifying my error
i am of the opinion it too soon
with too little data
to make assumptions about origins

sahstar, please re-read my original comment
i never claimed the Big O originated in our Solar System

https://en.wikipe...Oumuamua
table shows a definite acceleration over the last few hundred years
as Oumuamua approached our Sun
& definite deceleration after perihelion as it escaped back into interstellar space

why should i accept unprovable conjectures such as ice buried under Oumuamua's crust?

the speculations about C/2019 Q4 still need to be proven, confirmed, verified

with an accumulation of velocity by gravitational sling during multiple passes?

my speculation that this comet may be on a ballistic orbit?
winding in & out of our System over millions of years?
is equally valid to all other hypothesis

until proven or disproven

13 hours ago
i never claimed


But you pretend to be some type of rebel with your lack of English punctuation.
You're not a rebel, you're a fool.

9 hours ago
such a green face of envy
on the old coot
jealous that he lacks the cleverness to satirize the woomongers

9 hours ago
satirize the woomongers

So, that's what, that is.
Here I was, thinking, it's just the meds wearing off.
Silly me.

9 hours ago
Let's ask Heavens Gate. Wait they're all dead.
in my (unproven) opinion Oumuamua is an asteroid
specifically a large shard of core material
similar to what might be found if Ceres was shattered by a major collision
-and willis formed this opinion by reading not one but several physorg newsrelease articles and looking at many accompanying lo rez pics which were nevertheless chock full of pixels.

8 hours ago
BTW willis ceres' core is not metal

"Ceres appears to be partially differentiated into a mostly rocky core and a mostly icy mantle"

-Your idiot poecy doesnt make you appear any less wronger.

3 hours ago
well deer otto
the difference between my speculations & your woompmgering is that i publicly explain that i am working with limited, unverified information

you & all the other looneytoons expect that your unproven, unverified, unconfirmed fabulisms must be accepted as unquestionable divine revelation

or you all go off into your infantile tantrums
whining that it is unfair of anyone to expect you to be capable or competent to present peer-reviewed facts

it is true that i have speculated that the Big O was a shard of metallic asteroid core based on how close it got to our Sun without any verified detected reaction except acceleration & deceleration

i.e. no ground or orbital infrared detectors ever picked up any heat signature

also explaining why it did not break up from structural stressing at perihelion
which possibly means the Big O is more massive & cohesive than guessed

what proof do you have as to the lack of core metal of Ceres?
sufficient to be O size shards?

2 hours ago
the comments section here is so weird. real science people getting mad at pseudoscience kooks, and vice versa. Like, what's the point? The woos are just screaming into the void here. why engage?

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