The Interstellar Comet Has Received A New Name

Space is truly one of the most fascinating things where its findings aren't limited just to Earth- there's way more to it. From water being found on Mars to walking on the Moon and everything else in between, it seems as though a new discovery keeps popping up regularly. If this is something you're truly passionate about, you may already know everything that's been found in space most recently.

Case in point: the second-ever interstellar comet was discovered to be in our solar system not too long ago. Given that this is only the second time that this has happened, it's an exciting bit of news to hear and even see. Depending on your level of interest on the matter, you may like to hear that this new interstellar comet has received a name- 2I/Borisov.

Once originally known as C/2019 Q4, the new name came out thanks to the International Astronomical Union. This union has just one job- to name anything and everything within our universe that isn't on Earth. This means that they had the enviable task of naming one of the rarest things (i.e. the newest interstellar comet) found out in space.

via Universe Today


Eventually, the International Astronomical Union settled on 2I/Borisov as their name for this interstellar comet. 2I refers to the aforementioned fact that this is most likely just the second interstellar comet ever discovered in space. Borisov stands for Gennady Borisov, a Crimean amateur astronomer who originally discovered this object back on Friday, August 30th, 2019. He had tracked the object by using his homemade 0.65-meter telescope. It had looked like a comet at first due to having a haze or "coma" and was later identified as such.

Generally speaking, space features are named after whoever just so happened to discover it. That being said, that wasn't the cause of the first-ever interstellar comet that was found in space back in 2017. In this case, it had been discovered by a team somewhere in Hawaii. They dubbed their finding Oumuamua, a Hawaiian name that's said to mean "a messenger from afar arriving first".

While there had been some debate among space experts as to whether or not Oumuamua is an interstellar comet, the general consensus is that 2I/Borisov truly is one. This newer comet is expected to make its closest approach to the Sun on Saturday, December 7th, 2019. So if you really wish to see this interstellar comet before it disappears back into our solar system for an undetermined amount of time, you better mark your calendar!

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