Moroccan Observatory Observes First Ever Interstellar Comet from Outside Solar System


Oukaïmeden Observatory has managed to observe an interstellar comet coming from a star system outside our solar system for the first time ever.

This gigantic discovery was made in collaboration Oukaïmeden Observatory affiliated with the Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech and Belgium’s University of Liège, using TRAPPIST-NORD telescope. This telescope provided significant data that enables the measurement of the quantity of the Spectra of cyanogen gas molecules emitted from this comet, dubbed 2I/Borisov.

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The Moroccan observatory announced that this is the first time the particle spectra of a comet coming from outside the solar system was observed, which is the second interstellar interloper to be observed after Oumuamua. This latter was previously observed through its dynamic motion and not through observing its molecular dust.

This celestial body was seen on August 30th crossing our solar system by Ukrainian amateur astronomer named Gennady Borisov, whom the new interstellar was named after.

Following this breakthrough, a paper has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters for publication by Youssef Moulane, a PhD student at the High Energy Physics and Astrophysics Laboratory “Given its importance, this comet was followed and observed by numerous telescopes throughout the world, including the one we have at Oukaïmeden Observatory” said Moulane. He also added that another PhD student at the same institution took part in the data analysis that allowed the determination of the comet nucleus size based on its dust.

The same source highlighted the importance of taking part in these “historical discoveries” for Morocco.


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