Remember ‘Oumuamua? It was the first known interstellar object detected that through the Solar System. Since it can’t be captured into a solar orbit, the object will eventually leave the Solar System and resume traveling through interstellar space. However, it will take the object roughly 20,000 years to travel the Solar System before leaving. Now, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov has discovered a second interstellar object, called “C/2019 Q4”. Read more for a video and additional information.
One indicator that it’s probably not from the Solar System is its high velocity of about 93,000 miles per hour, which is much too fast to be pulled in by the sun’s gravity, thus proving the object is most likely just passing through. Fortunately, it won’t be coming anywhere near Earth, as it’s currently about 260 million miles away from the Sun, and will get as close as 190 million miles, or further than the orbit of Mars.
“The high velocity indicates not only that the object likely originated from outside our solar system, but also that it will leave and head back to interstellar space,” said Davide Farnocchia of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at JPL.