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Update: The interstellar comet 2I/Borisov is still not acting very alien

5 Nov 2019, 14:00 UTC
Update: The interstellar comet 2I/Borisov is still not acting very alien
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When I was younger, aliens on TV and movies weren't terribly, well, alien. They were mostly people with makeup on, maybe a mask or wings or horns, or an endless variety of humans with forehead and nose ridges.

I'm starting to think 2I/Borisov is a fan of old sci-fi.

That's the interstellar comet discovered in September, screaming through the solar system on a trajectory that left little doubt it came from deep space, literally from another star. We're not sure precisely where it came from, but the idea is that it was a frozen dirt- and ice-ball orbiting another star and got ejected into the galaxy at large, possibly by encountering a planet in its home system. It's been barreling through space ever since, and just happened to be on a path that takes it relatively close to the Sun.

I was pretty excited when it was first seen, and to be truthful I still am.

... but there's a weird thing about this comet. Nothing about it is weird. In an update in September I talked about how the colors and spectrum of the comet made it look like pretty much any run-of-the-mill solar system comet. As it nears ...

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