Archive for September 17, 2019

09/17/2019 – Ephemeris – It looks like another interstellar object has been found passing through the solar system

September 17, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, September 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 7:50, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:24. The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 9:45 this evening.

Last week Monday I talked about a project to detect interstellar meteoroids that hit the Moon. It turns out we don’t have to wait that long. This past August 30th, Gennady Borisov of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory discovered apparent comet since designated C/2019 Q4 (Borisov). It will approach the Sun just outside Mars orbit in December. It’s moving at over 25 miles per second (41 km/s) or nearly 92 thousand miles an hour (150,000 km/hr). In 2017 the first interstellar body discovered to enter our solar system was spotted, ‘Oumuamua. It was already past its closest to the Sun when found. This one is still approaching and visibly out gassing, so we’ll find out much more of its composition.


Color photograph of C/2019 Q4

Color photograph of C/2019 Q4. Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA

Orbit of C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)

Orbit of C/2019 Q4 (Borisov). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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