What we learned from the first interstellar comets, ‘Oumuamua and Borisov, and what we can do with the next ones

Main list: Physics and Astronomy Colloquia


Dr Colin Snodgrass
University of Edinburgh

In 2017 a strange object was discovered by near-Earth asteroid surveys, with the appearance of a small asteroid, but an orbit that showed it to have come from another star. I will describe what we learned about this object, called ‘Oumuamua, and what we are now learning about the second interstellar object, comet Borisov, which was discovered in September this year and is currently being observed as it approaches the Sun. In addition to what we can measure with telescopes, I will also describe a newly approved ESA space mission that may one day investigate an interstellar object up close: Comet Interceptor.


  • Venue

    Physics THeatre C

  • Date

    November 22, 2019

  • Time

    From: 10h00 To: 11h00

  • Sponsor

    University of St Andrews
    The oldest university in Scotland, with international renown for both research and education of undergraduates and postgraduates.

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