SCIENTISTS REPORT ‘UNUSUAL’ FINDINGS AFTER SCANNING COMET THAT VISITED FROM ANOTHER SOLAR SYSTEM

The comet 2I/Borisov which was spotted last year as it coursed through our solar system has come out with unusual results. Researchers aimed the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) towards this comet to study it. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is the largest radio telescope, which can take up electromagnetic radiation from any object and hence, help you understand the chemical makeup of an object.

Unusually, they were able to find unnatural amounts of Carbon Monoxide in this comet. This was a strange observation since most comets have water as the dominant compound in it. 2I/Borisov had about 1.7 times carbon dioxide as much as it did water, making it quite unusual.

Comets have always fascinated scientists, as they come from cold areas, which preserve the materials in the comet. This helps the scientist analyze and look into the materials and try to chart the history of the cosmos.

As for the 2I/Borisov, scientists believe that the object may have been interacted with a planet or a passing star and thereby exited their home area. Since the makeup is not similar to the comets of our solar system, it is being assumed that the object is from a different solar system. The comet also had hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in it along with carbon monoxide but that is not unusual since it has the same amount of HCN in it like most other comets. 

The study has been published in two papers: ‘2I/Borisov is a carbon monoxide-rich comet from another star‘ and  ‘Unusually high CO abundance of the first active interstellar comet’

 

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