Gif: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A comet discovered at the end of August is just the second interstellar object spotted on a path through our solar system, but scientists think it may be a harbinger of more to come.

What's happening: According to a new study accepted for publication by The Astrophysical Journal Letters, astronomers should expect that at least a few, large interstellar objects will fly through our solar system each year.

Why it matters: These objects, which include this year's 2I/Borisov — formerly called C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) — and 2017's 'Oumuamua, represent the best chance scientists have to study material from distant solar systems at close range.

  • By learning more about comets and asteroids from elsewhere in the galaxy, researchers might be able to figure out just how unique our solar system is.

Details: The new study suggests that interstellar objects may be flung out of their solar systems during the planet formation process.

  • The authors of the study found that planets that form far from their star may eject a fair amount of material from their home solar systems, sending them out through interstellar space.
  • “This idea nicely explains the high density of these objects drifting in interstellar space, and it shows that we should be finding up to hundreds of these objects with upcoming surveys coming online next year,” Gregory Laughlin, an author of the study, said in a statement.
  • It's also possible there could be hundreds of smaller interstellar objects that pass through the solar system each year, according to the study.

Yes, but: This study is based on limited data, outside experts told Axios, and it will take new tools coming online in the coming years to truly characterize how many of these interstellar objects pass through the solar system annually.

  • "With LSST [Large Synoptic Survey Telescope] up and running in a few years (hopefully) we will be able to test whether this theory is right, and I look forward to that," Ye Quanzhi, an astronomer at the University of Maryland, told Axios via email.

Go deeper: NASA emails reveal agency's surprise at asteroid's near-miss of Earth

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Report: Goldman to settle DOJ probe into Malaysia's 1MDB for over $2B

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Goldman Sachs has agreed with the Department of Justice to pay over $2 billion for the bank's role in Malaysia's multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: The settlement, expected to be announced within days, would allow Goldman Sachs to avoid a criminal conviction in the U.S. over the bribery and money laundering scandal that saw three of its former bankers banned for life from the banking industry by the Federal Reserve Board.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting — McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Trump threatens to post "60 Minutes" interview early after reportedly walking out

Trump speaks to reporters aboard Air Force One, Oct. 19. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he was considering posting his interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" prior to airtime in order to show "what a FAKE and BIASED interview" it was, following reports that he abruptly ended the interview after 45 minutes of taping.

Why it matters: Trump has escalated his war on the media in the final stretch of his re-election campaign, calling a Reuters reporter a "criminal" this week for not reporting on corruption allegations about Hunter Biden and disparaging CNN as "dumb b*stards" for the network's ongoing coronavirus coverage.