The interstellar intruder was first discovered by Ukrainian amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov on August 30, and has since been named C / 2019 Q4 (Borisov) in his honor. While most astronomers believe it is a comet, Seth Shostak, chief astronomer at the SETI Institute, acknowledges that there may be a more sensational explanation.
We can not rule out that this is an interstellar probe.
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"If we look closely at the picture, you'll see it has a metal case with portholes and little green faces.
"I bet, however, that the paycheck for next month is a comet."
C / 2019 Q4 (Borisov) could be an alien spaceship (though it's probably a comet).
Although, as it seems likely, C / 2019 has a natural origin, Dr. Shostak added, "I have no doubt that extraterrestrials are out there, we would not do our work if I did not believe it.
"It is even possible that they may have visited Earth a billion years ago, perhaps 100 million years ago, and we may never know."
Whatever it is, C / 2019 seems to be of which would make it the second visitor in just two years from the arrival of the cylindrically shaped asteroid Oumuamua in 2017.
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When Oumuamua was first discovered, there was similarly fierce speculation about its nature suggesting it could be an extraterrestrial probe, suggesting the weird resemblance to rendezvous with Rama, a science 1973 Arthur C. Clarke fiction novel.
SETI examined Oumuamua two years ago during his flyby, and Shostak suggested, "I have suggested to our SETI team to take a look at the Allen telescope array for this new object.
"So maybe we'll do it check it out. "
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Dr. Shostak acknowledged that C / 2019 Q4 (Borisov) would be an extraterrestrial spaceship could
SETI could try the fourth quarter of C / 2019 ( Borisov). Shostak
A spokesman for the Minor Planet Center (MPC) of the International Astronomical Union, who gave the floor to the fourth quarter of C / 2019, said: "Based on available observations, the Die Orbit solution for this object has converged to the hyperbolic elements shown below, suggesting an interstellar origin.
"Further observations are clearly highly desirable since all observations currently available were obtained at small suns and low altitudes. " Without an unexpected fade or dissolution, this object should be observable for at least one year. "
Astronomy software developer Bill Gray said last week, "We do not know how bright it will be.
"This is always a problem comet, so you have this unpredictability, combined with the fact that it is interstellar.
"And this is the first interstellar comet we've seen."
SETI has previously Keep an eye on Oumuamua