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Scientists believe that a mysterious object approaching Earth can explode from the past

Last month, the Hawaiian telescope discovered a mysterious object on our way while searching to protect our planet from the rocks of the end. This object was quickly added to the asteroid and comet counts found in the solar system at the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center. This is just 5,000 shy with a million marks.

The object is estimated to be about 8 meters based on its brightness. It is located in the old Centaur stadium, less than 10 meters long and 3 meters in diameter, including the engine nozzles.

Chodas’ attention was that the nearly circular orbit around the Sun is very similar to the Earth’s orbit. This is unusual for an asteroid.

“Flag number one,” said Chodas, director of the Near-Earth Object Research Center at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

The object is also another red flag that is in the same plane as the Earth, not tilted up or down. Asteroids usually rotate the zipper at strange angles. Finally, it is approaching Earth 2400 km / h, which is slow by asteroid standards.

As the object gets closer, astronomers should be able to better graph its trajectory and determine how much it is pushed out by the effects of sunlight radiation and heat. If it’s an old centaur (essentially a light empty can), it behaves differently than heavy space rock, which is less susceptible to external forces.

This is how astronomers usually distinguish between asteroids and space debris, such as abandoned rocket parts. Both are only displayed as points moving in the sky. There are probably dozens of fake asteroids out there, but their movements are either too inaccurate or messy, and their artificial identities cannot be confirmed, Chodas said.

Sometimes it’s the opposite.

For example, the mysterious object of 1991 was determined by Chodas et al. To be a normal asteroid rather than a fragment, even though its orbit around the Sun resembles that of the Earth.

Even more exciting, in 2002, Chodas discovered that NASA astronauts believed it was the third stage of Saturn V remaining from Apollo 12 in 1969, when it landed on the moon for the second time. did. He admits that the evidence was in the situation, given the chaotic one-year orbit of objects around the Earth. It was never designated as an asteroid and left the Earth’s orbit in 2003.

The roots of modern objects are direct and much more stable, strengthening his theory.

“I could be wrong about this. I don’t want to be overconfident,” he said. “But in my view, it’s the first time that all parts match the actual known launch.”

And he gladly points out that it was his mission in 1966 when he was a teenager in Canada.

Carrie Nugent, an asteroid hunter at the Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts, said Chodas’ conclusions were “good” based on solid evidence.She is the author of the 2017 book Asteroid hunter..

“A little more data will help us to make sure we know,” she said in an email. “Asteroid hunters around the world continue to monitor this object and retrieve its data. I’m excited to see how this evolves!”

Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said, “There were many embarrassing incidents of objects in deep orbit … a few days before they were recognized as artificial, provisional asteroid designations. I received it. “

It’s rarely clear.

Last year, British amateur astronomer Nick Howes announced that asteroids in solar orbit are likely to be lunar modules abandoned from NASA’s Apollo 10 and Apollo 11 lunar module rehearsals. Did. This object is probably artificial, but Chodas and others are skeptical of the connection.

Skepticism is good, Howes wrote in an email. In the latter half of the 2030s, “I hope that when we come to the head of the next forest, it will lead to more observations.”

Chodas’ latest interest passed through the Earth in 1984 and 2002, each orbiting around the Sun. But he said it was too dim to see from 8 million kilometers away.

He predicts that it will take about four months to orbit the Earth after the object was captured in mid-November and before launching back into its own orbit around the Sun next March. ..

Chodas suspects that the object will hit Earth — “at least not this time.”

AP

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Scientists believe that a mysterious object approaching Earth can explode from the past

Source link Scientists believe that a mysterious object approaching Earth can explode from the past

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