Break out the party hats. Astronomers have all but confirmed that the second known interstellar object is currently whizzing through our Solar System – and unlike the first event, we’ll be able to study it in a huge amount of detail.
The object was originally given the moniker gb00234, and was discovered by an amateur astronomer called Gennady Borisov in Crimea using his own observatory called MARGO. Borisov first spotted the object on August 30 and was immediately alerted by its odd path – suggesting it was not bound to our Sun.
Subsequent analysis and observations have confirmed the object has a high eccentricity, meaning it is on a hyperbolic path that will take it in and out of our Solar System, never to return. The Minor Planet Center (MPC) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics confirmed the orbit of the object earlier today and gave it a new name in honor of its discoverer: C/2019 Q4 (Borisov).