ESOcast 224: First Interstellar Visitors
25 June 2020
Astronomers use telescopes to peer into far away planetary systems, seeking to uncover the mysteries of their formation and evolution and reveal how they compare to our own. Occasionally though, astronomers are able to study these distant systems much closer to home, when interstellar visitors pass through our own Solar System.
1I/‘Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov made headlines as the first recorded interstellar objects to enter our Solar System. Telescopes around the world, including ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, tracked these interstellar visitors, seeking to discover where they came from and answer questions about their nature.
In this ESOcast, we explore some of the many questions these interstellar visitors have raised including: what are they made of? How did they form? Are they like the comets or asteroids in our Solar System? And finally, what can they reveal about other planetary systems?
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