- Astronomers have discovered what appears to be an asteroid heading into orbit around Earth.
- If the object was indeed an asteroid and entered itself into orbit around Earth, it would be considered a “little moon”, but not everyone is convinced.
- Some scientists, including NASA members, believe that the “asteroid” is in fact just an old, boosted rocket that has returned to Earth.
Everyone knows that Earth has only one true moon. You can see it most nights if you have a clear sky over your head, and it usually looks very elegant. However, there are tons of smaller natural objects orbiting the Earth that are not large enough to be considered moons but are suspended anyway. They are sometimes referred to as little moons, and new ones get our way. That’s what it’s not just a piece of space junk.
The object, which has been called Asteroid 2020 SO, is expected to enter Earth orbit as it passes 27,000 miles from our planets. Unfortunately, there’s a very good chance it’s not an asteroid at all, but a piece of old rocket technology that’s coming back to haunt us.
Mankind has unleashed a lot of things into space, and many of them still exist. Old satellites, Fairings, and entire rocket boosters are still floating either in Earth’s orbit or nearby. Sometimes the trash that we throw into space disappears for a while just to come back, and that might be what happens with Asteroid 2020 SO.
“I suspect that this newly discovered 2020 SO is an ancient rocket booster because it follows an orbit around the sun that is very similar to the Earth’s orbit, almost circular, at the same plane, and a little further from the sun at the farthest point,” said Dr. Paul Choudas of the NASA Center for Near Object Studies. from Earth CNN In an interview. “This is exactly the type of orbit a rocket stage that has separated from a lunar mission will follow, once it passes close to the moon and escapes into orbit around the sun. It is unlikely that the asteroid would have developed into such an orbit, but it is not impossible.”
So how old is the missile stage? Chodas thinks it’s likely from the 1960s. More specifically, based on an analysis of previous launches of the lunar missions, it is believed to be a booster craft launched into space in 1966. The mission was supposed to send a lander, Surveyor 2, to the surface of the moon, but instead crashed. . Now, apparently, his booster has returned to remind NASA of the move.
We will not know for sure what an object is until it gets closer to Earth. It will happen in late November, and at that point, we’ll know if it is an actual asteroid or just another piece of space debris constantly accumulating around our planet.