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Scientists have finally figured out what kind of strange unidentified object was discovered in Earth's orbit

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Scientists have finally found out what kind of strange unidentified object was discovered in Earth's orbit

Having discovered an unidentified object in the orbit of our planet, scientists wondered what it could be?

The trajectory of an unusual object is highlighted with a multi-colored line. Photo: Tony873004 / wikipedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0

The trajectory of an unusual object is highlighted with a multi-colored line. Photo: Tony873004 / wikipedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0

This object first appeared in the field of view of scientists in September of this year and was named 2020 SO. Having received new data thanks to the powerful miracle telescope (IRTF infrared telescope, located in Hawaii), they were able to find out what it is.

asteroid

Already according to the first data, as the researchers say, it was clear that this mysterious object is not an asteroid. After collecting more information, the composition of 2020 SO was analyzed (using IRTF). A group of scientists found similarities with the material from which rocket boosters are made.

asteroid

The telescope with which the observation was carried out. Photo: Michael Connelly / University of Hawaii Institute of astronomy

It soon turned out that the data could be incorrect since the object was under the influence of harsh conditions and the researchers could not claim that there could be a fragment of some modern rocket. On December 1, 2020, scientists were able to get new data, as the object came very close to Earth (about 50,000 km or 0.13 of the average lunar distance).

After analyzing them, scientists were surprised. It was a fragment of the Centaur rocket, or rather the rocket booster of the upper stage, which was launched by the Americans back in 1966.

Surveyor 2

This is a photograph of 1964 shows the upper stage Centaur rocket to connect with rocket carrier, Atlas. A similar centaur was used during the launch of Surveyor 2 two years later and now known as the 2020 SO... a new temporary mini-moon for the Earth. Image courtesy of NASA .

2020 SO

2020 SO is not the first object that was considered an asteroid, and later considered man-made space debris. Here is an object labeled WT1190F entering the Earth's atmosphere south of Sri Lanka on November 13, 2015. Image courtesy of IAC / UAE / NASA / ESA.

As scientists say, this fragment will be visible until march 2021, then it will enter orbit around the sun and disappear. Astronomers will continue to observe the amazing find until it disappears completely.


Related tags:

unidentified object  science  earth  Surveyor 2  NASA  2020 SO


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