A huge piece of Space Junk is found in Earth’s orbit and is expected to encounter Indian Ocean, early morning on 13 November.
According to calculations, this man-made junk which is around 2m long and named as WT1190F (or simply WTF) is going to collide with Earth, at around 6:15 AM of 13th November, nearly 65 miles far from the Southern Tip of Sri Lanka.
Catalina Sky Survey, a project made to warn about the comets and asteroids, discovered WTF this October.
Much of it, if not all, will burn before crashing in Indian Ocean. People might consider to reschedule their fishing plans on that day.
Scientists having keen interest in Earth’s orbit, are waiting for this day eagerly. Its a good opportunity to study the consequences of space debris interaction with Earth’s atmosphere.
Due to it’s hollow appearance, it might be a fuel tank or the debris can also be a trash part of spaceships or Saturn V rocket, which took Apollo astronauts to moon.
Twitter community also seems excited.
Some famous people have also marked their comment on WTF.
Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell told Nature News, it could be a “lost piece of space history come back to haunt us,” perhaps an old rocket fragment from the Apollo era.
Independent astronomy software developer Bill Gray, who has been working to track the debris with Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told journal Nature: “I would not necessarily want to be going fishing directly underneath it.”
Earth has witnessed such encounter with space junk, through the course of history.
Titanium motor casing of a Delta 2 third stage, weighing about 70 kg, landed in Saudi Arabia about 240 km from the capital of Riyadh, 21 January 2001. (source)
This is the main propellant tank of the second stage of a Delta 2 launch vehicle which landed near Georgetown, TX, on 22 January 1997. This approximately 250 kg tank is primarily a stainless steel structure and survived reentry relatively intact. (source)
Another Delta 2 second stage reentered on 27 April 2000 over South Africa. In this incident, three objects were recovered along a path nearly 100 km long: the main stainless steel propellant tank, a titanium pressurant tank, and a portion of the main engine nozzle assembly. (source)
Feature Image Source.