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Orbital Path of Comet 2I/Borisov

Orbital Path of Comet 2I/Borisov

Date: 16 October 2019
Satellite: Hubble Space Telescope
Depicts: Comet 2I/Borisov
Copyright: NASA, ESA, J. Olmsted, F. Summers (STScI), CC BY 4.0

This illustration shows the path of comet 21/Borisov through our Solar System. This visitor came from interstellar space along a hyperbolic trajectory. It is only the second known intruder to zoom through our Solar System (the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua was detected in 2017).

As the graphic shows, the comet’s straight path across interstellar space is slightly deflected by the gravitational pull of our Sun. The comet is travelling so fast, at over 155 000 kilometres per hour, it will eventually leave the Solar System.

The panel on the right shows the comet’s position relative to Earth when the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observed it on 12 October 2019, when it was 420 million kilometres from Earth.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Creative Commons License

Last Update: 16 October 2019
6-Feb-2023 22:48 UT

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