How Does the New Interstellar Object Differ From 'Oumuamua? - Gizmodo - Canadanewsmedia
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How Does the New Interstellar Object Differ From 'Oumuamua? – Gizmodo

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Comet Borisov (left) versus ‘Oumuamua (right).
Image: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA, the William Herschel Telescope

The second interstellar object on record has visited our solar system, according to astronomical observations made in recent week. But how does this new visitor differ from ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar object?

Scientists have been eager to learn more about Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) since amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov first spotted it on August 30. Follow-up observations determined found that its orbit suggests it originated from outside the solar system. A comparison to the first interstellar object, ‘Oumuamua, could provide an interesting perspective on what these objects are like generally.

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Astronomers discovered the first interstellar object on record, 1I/2017 U1 ‘Oumuamua, on October 19, 2017, and were able to gather hundreds of observations of the object as it whizzed through the solar system. It was strangely cigar-shaped, and seemed to accelerate as it traveled away from the Sun. There has been some wild conjecture as to its origin and the cause of its acceleration (“aliens!”), but less speculative debate has centered around whether the object is more like a rocky asteroid or a comet that released some gas and accelerated as the Sun heated it up. Observations haven’t seen evidence of a cometary-like tail, but “a volatile-rich gas-venting structure for ‘Oumuamua provides the simplest explanation for its odd trajectory,” according to a paper in The Astrophysical Journal.

Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) has slightly different features—for one, initial observations have already revealed a comet-like coma and tail. Its orbit looks different as well. “It has the kind of orbit that’s more characteristic of what we expected to see [from an interstellar object,]” Matthew Holman, director of the Minor Planet Center, told Gizmodo last week. “‘Oumuamua made a really deep plunge into the solar system and came close to the Sun; that’s not the typical behavior that we might expect.”

Astronomers expect interstellar objects to be more like icy comets than rocky asteroids because of where they’re presumed to have formed in their own star systems. “As you go out from the star, the disk is cooler, so the objects have more ices in them,” Kat Volk, associate staff scientist at The University of Arizona, explained to Gizmodo. They’re presumed to be more like the icy objects in our solar system’s own distant Kuiper belt. “Most of the stuff that gets ejected would have more ice it.”

Astronomers also think that the object is a little larger than ‘Oumuamua, though the hazy coma makes it hard to tell Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)’s shape, Volk said.

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Observatories have only just gathered enough evidence to conclude the object likely has interstellar origins, and watching it has been (and will continue to be) difficult, since at present, it’s relatively close to the Sun in the sky from our viewing angle on Earth. But thankfully, the object is traveling in toward the Sun, which means we’ll have more time to observe it, versus ‘Oumuamua, which was caught on its outbound journey.

And scientists are hoping for more interstellar objects soon.

“A sample size of two is really small, but it’s better than a sample size of one,” Volk said. “We’ll keep learning about them as we catch more of them zooming through.”

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Fireball over Japan part of larger asteroid that might one day hit Earth – Newshub

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Watch: A mission to Bennu, an asteroid many believe will hit the Earth, is currently underway. Credits: Video – Newshub; Image – Arecibo Observatory

A fireball that lit up the Japanese skies in 2017 was a part of a big one which might one day slam into Earth, scientists have worked out.

The asteroid that burned up in the atmosphere over Kyoto in April that year was smaller than a ping pong ball, but its parent 2003 YT1 is about 2km across – the length of Auckland’s Queen St. 

Astronomers in Japan wanted to know where the tiny asteroid of 2017 came from, so mapped its trajectory closely – and found it matched up with 2003 YT1.

The mother asteroid was discovered in 2003, and orbits the sun in the same region of space as Earth. It’s classified as a potentially hazardous object, with a 6 percent chance of hitting the Earth sometime in the next 10 million years.

It’s not clear how the baby split off 2003 YT1, but as the latter is a loose clump of rocks that spins around every couple of hours, astronomers say it’s possible it was just flung into space.

2003 YT1 is so big it even has its own moon, which is wide enough to fit a couple of rugby fields. 

It was deemed a minor planet in 2007, but is yet to be given a catchier name. 

The astronomers’ findings were detailed in a paper uploaded to arxiv.org last week.

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Asteroid alert: Astronomer spots a 'potentially hazardous' 990m rock flying towards Earth – Express.co.uk

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According to the astronomer, anyone with a 200mm telescope should be able to spot the rock on Friday.

But does the “potentially hazardous” asteroid pose any threat to the safety of the planet?

NASA said: “An individual’s chance of being killed by a meteorite is small, but the risk increases with the size of the impacting comet or asteroid, with the greatest risk associated with global catastrophes resulting from impacts of objects larger than one kilometre.

“NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small.

“In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.”

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Christina Koch and Jessica Meir Execute First All-Woman Spacewalk – Science Times

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(Photo : NASA)

Friday, Oct. 18—NASA makes history once again as astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch become the first to participate in an all-women spacewalk.

The walk, streamed live by NASA on Youtube and on NASA television, lasted for seven hours and seventeen minutes. This included a five-minute call from US President Donald Trump, where he congratulated the two women for this historic achievement.

The pair was successful in replacing a power controller that failed after the installation of new lithium-ion batteries last Oct. 11 in the International Space Station’s truss structure. They also made preparations for future spacewalks.

Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan assisted the spacewalkers. Morgan provided airlock and spacesuit support while Parmitano controlled the Candarm-2, ISS’s robotic arm.

Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya was the first woman to conduct a spacewalk, about 35 years ago. Now, Koch and Meir make history for being part of the first all-women spacewalk. This occurs more than 50 years after humanity’s first steps on the moon. NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson hopes that this would be just a first and that this instance could become a common occurrence in the future.

“In the past, women haven’t always been at the table,” says Koch in an interview. “It’s wonderful to be contributing to the space program at a time when all contributions are being accepted when everyone has a role.” Koch also comments on how historical moments like this inspires and motivate people, which is an important aspect of this story.

Koch and Meir were part of NASA’s class of 2013, where there was a total of eight astronaut trainees. This class was notable for having an equal number of males and females in the class—a first for NASA. Six years later, NASA has 12 female astronauts and 26 male astronauts within its ranks.

This historic moment happened later than it’s supposed to be. Back in March, Koch was scheduled to participate in a spacewalk with colleague Anne McClain, but NASA had to postpone the mission after realizing that they didn’t have appropriately sized spacesuits for the two. This story created a lot of buzzes—even inspiring a Saturday Night Live skit. This delay, many believed, highlighted the challenges women face in space exploration, and, to an extent, in the scientific community.

Anne McClain is a classmate of Koch and Meir for NASA’s class of 2013 and is the first openly LGBT astronaut in space. Out of the class’s four female astronauts, their classmate Nicole Mann remains to be the only one who’s yet to participate in a spacewalk. Mann is currently assigned to Boe-CFT, the first test flight of the Boeing CSG-100 Starliner, which is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

A 30-minute in-space news conference will be held on Monday, Oct. 21, to review the first all-women spacewalk. Both Koch and Meir will participate in this conference while on-orbit. Viewers may watch the conference, which will be aired live on NASA Television and on their website.

©2017 ScienceTimes.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science times.

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