Here and Gone: Outbound Comets are Likely of Alien Origin

Astronomers at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) have analyzed the paths of two objects heading out of the Solar System forever and determined that they also most likely originated from outside of the Solar System. These results improve our understanding of the outer Solar System and beyond.

Full story: "Here and Gone: Outbound Comets are Likely of Alien Origin", NAOJ press release (January 17, 2020).



Figure: Conceptual diagram of this research. Researchers calculated the typical paths of long-orbit comets (blue) perturbed by a passing gas-giant-sized object (white) and objects of interstellar origin (red). (Credit: NAOJ)


[Research Paper]

Title: Hyperbolic Orbits in the Solar System: Interstellar Origin or Perturbed Oort Cloud Comets?
Authors: A. Higuchi and E. Kokubo
Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz3153


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NAOJ Press Release "Here and Gone: Outbound Comets are Likely of Alien Origin"

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