After ʻOumuamua in October 2017, now two years on Genaddy Borisov from the Crimea looked up and found a second interstellar interloper on a hyperbolic path, headed towards our sun.

Forbes says in the previous link “The discovery will be music to the ears of many who have been expecting more of these objects, too. Some estimates suggest that at least one interstellar object should be in our Solar System at any given time, while the upcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) plans to find many more of these objects. The European Space Agency (ESA), meanwhile, may even send a spacecraft to an interstellar visitor in the future.

That is indeed the significance I think. In between something occurring never, once, and often, there is not much probability attached to something just happening a few times, given the distances and time involved in the universe. The appearance of a 2nd something in space just two years after the first (which we almost missed, it was already flying away), likely means it is much more common, we just haven’t spotted much of it yet.

Below a simulation of the orbits of both objects, from

Comments are closed.