Oct 22, 2019

Hubble Space Telescope captures best view yet of interstellar comet

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

The Hubble Space Telescope has given us our best view yet of the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov on its way through our solar system.

Details: The new photos of the comet show it in blue light speeding along, about 420 million kilometers (261 million miles) from Earth.

  • “Because another star system could be quite different from our own, the comet could have experienced significant changes during its long interstellar journey,” Amaya Moro-Martin of the Space Telescope Science Institute said in a statement.

Background: 2I/Borisov is just the second interstellar object seen on a path through the inner solar system. By studying its chemical composition, the comet could tell us how similar or different other solar systems might be compared to our own.

Go deeper: Astronomers giddy about 2nd interstellar object in 2 years

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Voyager 2's journey in interstellar space

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes — which launched in 1977 and are now traveling through interstellar space — may be complicating scientists' understanding of our solar system's structure.

Why it matters: Mapping the structure of our solar system places it in context with the rest of the galaxy, allowing scientists to learn more about the evolution and even future of our cosmic neighborhood.

Go deeperArrowNov 5, 2019

A new view of the Milky Way

Photo: NASA/MIT/TESS

The Milky Way shines in a photo taken by a space telescope designed to hunt for planets circling stars far from our own solar system.

Details: The image by NASA's TESS was released on Nov. 5 and was created by piecing together 208 photos taken by the telescope during its first year gathering science from orbit.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

Using AI to track solar power

Five cities in California have the nation's highest density of homes with solar panels, while Detroit has the lowest, according to new analysis that uses AI to track solar deployment via high-resolution aerial imagery.

Go deeperArrowOct 30, 2019