We have recently heard more about the interstellar comet called Borisov, and we know what it looks like most other comets. But guess what! Our attention went to the first interstellar object, called Oumuamua, which passes the Earth exactly two years ago.
A paper was published on Monday in Nature Astronomy, and it talked about Borisov, which is the second object that was seen in our solar system from outside of it. Researchers have the chance to take a better look at it, since the comet will come closer to our planet in the next few weeks, as of now, it looks the same as normal comets. Research has also shown that it has a familiar behavior. It also has a tail that contains toxic gases, which is something that we normally except for a comet.
Scientists noticed that the coma and the tail were not seen on Oumuamua. This comes from Michal Drahus from the Jagiellonian University in Poland. He is the co-author of the study. He said that this means that the visitor is actually a mythical “real” interstellar comet.
This also means that the comet is not a “real” interstellar comet, which raises the next question: what is it?
The usual kind of comet, from which Borisov takes part, is a spheroidal mass of rock and ice which is heated by the sun, and which produced the tail. Oumuamua had the shape of a cigarette, and it did not show any signs of a tail. It also appeared to accelerate when it flew back out to the deep space.
Oumuamua is already on its way out of our solar system. It was first spotted five days after its close approach, and we may not see it ever again.