The Hubble Space Telescope didn’t rest during its recent 30th anniversary celebration. Instead, it watched the comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) fragment into at least 30 pieces.
In the three years since ‘Oumuamua visited our solar system, scientists have struggled to explain some of its more enigmatic features, including its cigar-like shape. State-of-the-art computer models are providing some tantalising new clues, showing how the object likely formed and how it became an interstellar interloper.
A review of data taken over the course of the two-year Rosetta mission shows that comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was sometimes reddish in appearance, while at other times it assumed a bluish hue. Sounds weird, but scientists have come up with a sensible explanation that doesn’t involve aliens with paint guns.