comets: April 2022

The star β Pictoris harbors a young planetary system, which is characterized by the presence of a gaseous and dusty debris disk, at least two massive planets and many minor bodies. For more than thirty years, exocomets transiting the star have been detected using spectroscopy, probing the gaseous part of the cometary comas and tails.

The discovery of the first two interstellar comets implies that, on average, every star contributes a substantial amount of material to the galactic population by ejecting such bodies from the host system.