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An amateur astronomer has discovered a comet that could come from outside our Solar System.

If so, it would be the second interstellar object after the elongated body known as 'Oumuamua was identified in 2017.

The Minor Planet Center (MPC) at Harvard University has issued a formal announcement of the discovery.

The body appears to have a "hyperbolic" orbit, which would appear to indicate its origin in another planetary system.

A hyperbolic orbit is an eccentric one, where the shape deviates substantially from that of a perfect circle.

You can see a short section of this thing's path in the video... and, it's nothing like the elliptical orbits of the planets :O .

If this is from interstellar space, I wonder whether it's related to 'Oumuamua?
Telescopes around the world are investigating this object - and so, we have some data now. In addition, we have our first picture of this thing:

[Image: O8kBXkB.jpg]
(Source: Gemini Observatory / BBC News)
Interestingly, this comet might be carrying water from outside the Solar System:

If true, then it'll be the first time we've detected water coming in from somewhere else - which makes me wonder: did comets like this bring our water to the Solar System? It's entirely speculative - there's no real evidence for it - but it's food for thought.
Apparently, this comet contains an unusually large concentration of carbon monoxide:

This could mean it formed in the coldest regions of space, where the concentrations of carbon monoxide are higher. Or it could just mean it went very close to its parent star, which allowed the other materials to evaporate off :P .