Comet Borisov is interstellar, but looks like the ones from our solar system

An interstellar comet is giving some exciting insights into rare material from another star system, according to a new study.

Interstellar comet
Interstellar comet Borisov. Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA/Travis Rector

News of the interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov is trending big time recently. A paper which was published in the journal Nature Astronomy on October 14 had described the comet perfectly.

It confirmed that the Comet Borisov is an intruder from outside the solar system and gave some initial evidence suggesting that the object isn't too different from the comets residing in the earth's solar system.

However, as the interstellar comet is raising lots of attention, a number of scientists' teams are coming to interesting conclusions. Initially, scientists said that Borisov is interstellar. This was revealed by a software program that was put up in order to regularly scan and identify locations of objects that are newly spotted.

The unremarkable comet had been spotted last August by Gennady Borisov, a Crimean amateur astronomer. It was swiftly identified as an interloper from another star system and may have been wandering the Milky Way for millions of years.

Once the scientists understood the details of the comet, they went on to verifying the interstellar orbit on their own. Hence, they clicked some images of Comet Borisov on September 10 and 13 through the William Herschel Telescope in La Palma, Spain, and the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii. The images were interesting which gave some insight about the comets.

The researchers came to the conclusion that the comets look very similar to the objects in the solar system. Colin Snodgrass, an astronomer at Edinburgh University and part of another team with different observations of 2I/Borisov in Astrophysical Journal Letters, said: "This appears to be a completely unremarkable comet on a very remarkable orbit... It implies that some of the formation processes we are trying to figure out with detailed observation of comets and asteroids, or space missions like Rosetta, are common between stars."

In their paper, the scientists have included yet another third piece, which gives an idea of the rocky center of the comet. This is located just below the evaporating ice that gives a rather fuzzy appearance, interfering with the documentation.

As Borisov is similar to the comets in the solar system, its core should be just about 1.2 miles, or 2 km across, according to the astronomers. This works out to be less than an earlier estimate by another team, who calculated it to be 0.9 to 4.1 miles (1.4 to 6.6 km).

This new research is among the earliest Borisov papers to get attention, but as there is a lot of content to be observed, scientists will continue to watch the comet for another year.