Astronomers first identified traces of extraterrestrial water on a comet that reached the solar system from interstellar space, the scientific journal Nature said on Wednesday.
Comet “2I / Borisov”, which will be closer to the sun in December, was detected in the solar system by experts after the warning on 30 August of an amateur astronomer, Gennadiy Borisov, a Crimean native, to a foreign object in the heaven.
In mid-October, Nature announced the discovery, saying that the comet, from an unknown solar system due to its orbit, had reddish dust on its tail. In addition to dust, comets are made of ice and therefore contain water in their nucleus.
The new thing about comet “2I / Borisov” – the second interstellar object to be detected in the solar system after the cigar-shaped asteroid “Oumuamua” in 2017 – is that watermark identification could prove to be a important step in understanding how water “travels” between stars.
A team of astronomers led by Adam McKay of NASA's space agency detected the oxygen signature on the comet's light spectrum on October 11.
Although comets can produce oxygen in different ways, the team provides as an explanation for detecting oxygen signature in “2I / Borisov”, one of the components of water, the fact that oxygen molecules separate from hydrogen, which also enters the chemical composition of water.