Astronomers say that they believe they discovered a new interstellar object in our solar system and think it should be observable for at least a year, according to the Minor Planet Center at the Center for Astrophysics.
The object, now provisionally called C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), was detected by amateur Ukrainian astronomer Gennady Borisov at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory using a telescope he built himself on 30 August. It has not yet entered our solar system but is near the Sun in the sky when viewed from Earth, according to MPC Director Matthew Holman.
“It’s so exciting, we’re basically looking away from all of our other projects right now,” an astronomer with the European Southern Observatory said. He was part of a team of astronomers that studied Oumuamua, the 1st interstellar object ever detected.
“The main difference from ‘Oumuamua and this one is that we got it a long, long time in advance, ” he added. “Now astronomers are much more prepared.”
The MPC says the object’s path is hyperbolic, rather than the elliptical shape of objects that orbits around the Sun
“The error indicates it’s still possible that’s within the solar system. But that error is decreasing as we get more and more data, and the eccentricity is looking interstellar,” the lead astrologer said.