Comet 2I/Borisov over the last few days. CREDIT: NASA/ESA/D. Jewitt
Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov Really Is Breaking Apart, According to New Data (Science Alert)Interstellar Object 2I/Borisov Double (Astronomer’s Telegram)
Switching topics entirely, we have word from David Jewitt, Max Mutchler and company that the Interstellar Comet, 2I/Borisov has split into two separate pieces . This occurred on or about March 28, when the system puffed out dust and debris. This kind of a breaking up isn’t hard to do for comets, and is quite common. The HST is now able to see a double core, and this team will continue monitoring this double core’d comet to see if the pieces appear to drift apart. This means that this icy blob formed in a distant solar system, traveled for perhaps 10s or 100s of light years or more, and as it passed through our solar system was put under attack by our Sun’s light, heat, and gravity. This is clearly meant as a warning to all other interstellar objects – don’t mess with the solar system – we can mess you up!