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Offline Maunder Minimum  
#1 Posted : 12 September 2019 09:26:27(UTC)
Maunder Minimum

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 08/09/2007(UTC)
Posts: 32,987
Location: Copenhagen (work) and West Worcestershire (home)


Watch the skies in December - hopefully this comet will be visible if the skies are clear.


In the few days since its discovery, after which it bore the temporary designation gb00234, observers have broached the possibility of an interstellar origin with caution. The chance of finding it in prediscovery images isn't great, since for some months the comet has been too close to the Sun to have been swept up by wide-field surveys. But it should remain visible for many months before and after it comes closest to Earth in December, and more positional measurements will tighten the orbital fit — and make a stronger case for an interstellar origin.

Meanwhile, images show that the incoming object sports a faint but distinct coma and the barest hint of a tail — something 'Oumuamua lacked — and thus appears to be a comet. Astronomers are no doubt eager to get spectra of the new find to determine what compounds might be escaping from its surface.

Based on current observations, C/2019 Q4's eccentricity is about 3.2 — definitely hyperbolic. Objects on hyperbolic orbits are unbound to the Sun. They're most likely to hail from beyond the solar system, flying in from great distances to pay our neighborhood a brief visit before heading off for parts unknown."

EUphiles will stop at nothing to prevent the UK from regaining its lost independence.

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