The Hubble Space Telescope has previously observed an interstellar comet 2I/Borisov for the first time. Astronomers have now shared a 2I/Borisov comet photo taken using the W.M. Keck Observatory’s low-resolution imaging spectrometer. It is the closest image to date since the interstellar comet was discovered last summer.
It consists of two images, a separate 2I/Borisov on the left and a comet and Earth size comparison on the right. The new image looks like the comet’s giant tail, which scientists say extends nearly 100,000 miles, making it 14 times the size of Earth.
2I/Borisov will reach Earth within 190 million miles of Earth on December 8, closest to Earth, after which it will continue to return to interstellar space through the solar system and will never be seen again. Scientists believe the comet originated in another star system, but was driven out after a planet collided with a planet.
Details show that its comet core is a mile wide, and as it reacts to the sun’s heat, its appearance begins to look more like a ghost. It also has a distinct red tone. Until April 2020, 2I/Borisov can be observed by medium-sized telescopes, after which only 2I/Borisov can be observed with larger specialized telescopes.