Scientists have identified the mysterious object heading towards the Earth as space debris, probably an old rocket that was sent into space long ago. Creating a lot of buzz over the Internet, the object was initially thought to be a UFO probably carrying alien life forms. However, scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) have dismissed the rumors after a careful study of the object.
It’s not the first time that it has been sighted, the first discovery was made in early 2013 by the Catalina Sky Survey based in Arizona but was lost after that.
It was discovered again on November 29, 2013, but got lost yet again after being observed for more than one year. The debris’ recent discovery was made this year on October 3.
NASA and the military have been tracking space debris especially in low orbit close to the earth. The space debris expected to hit is one of the most accurately studied debris whereby its trajectory has even been calculated.
Scientists believe that it is headed for the Indian Ocean somewhere off the coast of Sri Lanka and will most likely land on November 13.
However, there is a chance that it might not land at all. It might burn up upon entry into the atmosphere due to high friction.
Scientists have also dismissed any fears that the object might cause significant damage to its landing point if it actually lands. This is because the object that astronomers call WT1190F is too small.
Scientists estimate that the object is 3 to 6 feet long with a hollow interior thus too small to cause much worry. However, there is a chance that it might cause significant damage if it comes into contact with other working satellites in space.
Scientists have additionally pointed out that the object’s entry into the atmosphere will be a magnificent site because there will be a bright light once it enters the atmosphere.
Mysterious Space Junk Dubbed ‘WTF’ Is Heading For Earth
Nick Moskovitz from the Lowell Observatory stated that the WT1190F is one of the objects who’s estimated the impact and landing position has been accurately timed. Some organizations such as JAXA from Japan and DARPA from the US are working on solutions to cleaning up the debris surrounding the earth.
A report from NASA states that there are more than 500,000 pieces of space debris being tracked in its database. More than 20,000 of those are the size of Softballs. They can achieve speeds of 17,000 miles per hour, enough to cause significant damage to other satellites.