The universe is full of riddles and mysteries, and one of the most exciting is the encounter with interstellar objects. Extreme velocities, unusual trajectories and small sizes make observing these stellar wanderers a challenging task. However, with the Gaia astrometric mission, researchers have been able to estimate the number of such objects that occasionally enter our solar system.
Star velocities collected during the Gaia mission allowed scientists to conclude that up to seven interstellar asteroids pass through our solar system every year. Their speeds exceed 40 kilometers per second, making them truly swift wanderers of the cosmos. In addition, interstellar comets like comet 2I/Borisov, discovered in 2019 by an astronomer from Crimea, come to us less frequently, about once every 10 to 20 years.
I wonder where these interstellar wanderers come from? Researchers estimate that most interstellar asteroids come to us from the outer regions of the galactic disk. However, every hundred years our solar system may be visited by wanderers coming from outside the Milky Way. This phenomenon is of interest to scientists and opens up new horizons for research.
Interstellar objects are a real boon to astronomers and cosmologists. They can contain unique information about the processes taking place in other stellar systems, as well as about the origin and evolution of the Universe itself. Therefore, every appearance of interstellar wanderers causes excitement in the scientific community.
Despite the difficulty of observing these objects, modern technology allows scientists to obtain valuable data. Recent studies have shown that interstellar asteroids and comets can have a variety of origins and compositions. For example, analysis of samples from comet 2I/Borisov led scientists to conclude that it has similarities to comets from our solar system, but also has some differences. This suggests that other stellar systems have similar processes of formation and evolution of objects.
It is important to note that encountering interstellar wanderers not only expands our knowledge of the Universe, but also raises important questions about our own place in the Cosmos. We face the reality that we are not the only inhabitants of the Universe, and a desire to learn more about other star systems and possible life forms arises.