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The Engineer
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Interstellar Comet Observed

10/26/2017 8:19 AM

The first interstellar comet has been observed. Pretty cool to see them talk about hyperbolic orbits. Took me back to my undergraduate physics.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/researchers-observe-first-known-interstellar-192100864.html

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Guru

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#1

Re: Interstellar Comet Observed

10/26/2017 9:09 AM

Fascinating. Obviously, the picture is not that comet, but comet Lovejoy from December 2011. The interstellar comet would never have a tail.

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Guru
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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Interstellar Comet Observed

10/26/2017 9:18 AM

It could have a tail, if it got close enough to the Sun during it's brief passage through our solar system. The comet (apparently) originated outside the solar system, but it was observed while inside the solar system. If it had somehow been observed while still outside the solar system, no, it would not have had a tail then.

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Guru
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Interstellar Comet Observed

10/26/2017 9:22 AM

More info here, with images. It is already headed back out of the solar system; it never got close enough to the Sun to have a tail.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/astronomers-spot-first-known-interstellar-comet/

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Guru

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Interstellar Comet Observed

10/26/2017 11:06 AM

..."Its true character became clearer after Karen Meech (University of Hawaii) recorded a series of images with the Very Large Telescope that, when stacked, showed a perfectly starlike object. So it's a deep-space asteroid, not a comet, and consequently officials at the MPC changed its designation to A/2017 U1."...

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Guru

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Interstellar Comet Observed

10/26/2017 11:40 AM

"but more critically its extremely hyperbolic eccentricity"

We have some members here with that same affliction.

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Guru
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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Interstellar Comet Observed

10/26/2017 6:55 PM

Come on now, "some"?? Maybe a couple... Why do I think you invite conflict?

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Guru

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Interstellar Comet Observed

10/27/2017 11:22 AM

Rich people are eccentric, the rest of us are just weird.

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