Two Interstellar Intruders Are Upending Astronomy

Comet 2I/Borisov appears as a fuzzy blue dot in an image from the Hubble Space Telescope.

From the tallest peak in Hawaii to a high plateau in the Andes, some of the biggest telescopes on Earth will point towards a faint smudge of light over the next few weeks. The same patch of the sky will draw the attention of Gennady Borisov, an amateur astronomer in

Second-ever interstellar comet contains alien water

A Hubble Space Telescope image of comet 2I/Borisov, the second confirmed interstellar object to enter our solar system.

Scientists have spotted signs of water as the object, 2I/Borisov, streaks towards the Sun. Astronomers have spotted signs of water spraying off comet 2I/Borisov, which is flying towards the Sun on a journey from interstellar space. It is the first time scientists have seen water in our Solar System that originated

Hubble Telescope zooms in on interstellar visitor

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers their best look yet at an interstellar visitor – comet 2I/Borisov – whose speed and trajectory indicate it has come from beyond our solar system. Hubble photographed the comet at a distance of 260 million miles from Earth. This Hubble image, taken on October 12, 2019, is the sharpest view to date of the comet. Hubble reveals a central concentration of dust around the nucleus (which is too small to be seen by Hubble). The comet is falling toward the Sun and will make its closest approach on December 7, 2019, when it will be twice as far from the Sun as Earth. The comet is following a hyperbolic path around the Sun and will exit back into interstellar space. Comet 2I/Borisov is only the second such interstellar object known to have passed through the solar system. In 2017, the first identified interstellar visitor, an object formally named 'Oumuamua, swung within 24 million miles of the Sun before racing out of the solar system.

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the best pictures yet of our newest interstellar visitor.This comet from outside our solar system is zooming by us at a blistering 110,000 mph (177,000 kph). Hubble caught some glam shots over the weekend from a distance of 260 million miles (420 million kilometers).

NASA Voyager 2 could be nearing interstellar space

This graphic shows the position of the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes relative to the heliosphere, a protective bubble created by the Sun that extends well past the orbit of Pluto. Voyager 1 crossed the heliopause, or the edge of the heliosphere, in 2012. Voyager 2 is still in the heliosheath, or the outermost part of the heliosphere.

NASA's Voyager 2 probe, currently on a journey toward interstellar space, has detected an increase in cosmic rays that originate outside our solar system. Launched in 1977, Voyager 2 is a little less than 11 billion miles (about 17.7 billion kilometers) from Earth, or more than 118 times the distance

The Possibility of Interstellar Travel

Artist concept for a futuristic starship.

Mankind depends on exploration. We long to satisfy our curiosity for what lies in every direction, expanding trade routes and learning to adapt to new terrain. And while it used to suffice us to explore our Earth, we’re now directing our gaze somewhere much, much further from home. Star systems