Dec 17, 2019 - Science

Hubble Space Telescope sees interstellar comet, distant galaxy at the same time

picture from hubble telescope thats a comet

Photo: NASA/ESA/D. Jewitt (UCLA)

The Hubble Space Telescope spotted an unlikely cosmic duo separated by millions of light-years in mid-November.

What's happening: A new photo shows the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov and the spiral galaxy 2MASX J10500165-0152029 in the same shot as the comet flew about 203 million miles from Earth.

  • "The galaxy's bright central core is smeared in the image because Hubble was tracking the comet," NASA said in a statement.
  • Scientists keeping a close eye on Borisov have found that the comet looks similar to those that originate in our solar system, but new observations will help them learn even more about the object before it leaves us behind.

What's next: Borisov is now speeding toward its closest approach with Earth next week, when it will fly about 180 million miles from our home planet on Dec. 28 before heading out past Jupiter by mid-2020.

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