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C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) - An Interstellar Comet

Technical card

Resolution: 1080x1080

Dates:Sept. 18, 2019

Frames:Astronomik L-3 UV-IR Block 1.25": 14x90" (gain: 76.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 0.3 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~256

Avg. Moon age: 18.67 days

Avg. Moon phase: 83.69%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 5.00

Data source: Backyard


Just stop and consider for a moment that this little fuzzball captured in my camera yesterday is not bound to our solar system. It was created in some far flung star system, billions of years ago. For a few months, Comet Borisov is just passing through our neighborhood. It is traveling so fast that the sun’s massive gravity well cannot hold onto it. After a course change, it is off to visit another star in another billion years, or so.

This is only the second confirmed interstellar object that mankind has identified in our solar system. Though the first showed no signs of outgassing, this one is behaving like an otherwise normal comet. Our comets spew organic compounds (such as complex amino acids) all over our solar system, now ponder for another moment that this thing may be doing the same with compounds created countless light years away.

Like a seed in the wind...

As an astrophotographer I strive to create eye-popping images that can be appreciated for their beauty. But I think this one has a unique beauty, and not simply because it was so technically difficult for me to produce 😉.

The comet only shines at a very, very faint, almost magnitude 18. It’s also extraordinarily small in the sky, being over 500million km away.

As always, enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments!



Jason Guenzel
License: None (All rights reserved)


C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) - An Interstellar Comet, 


            Jason Guenzel