Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP) – Jig could be for a “star” whose hope is caught by the gravity of the earth and become a mini moon next month.
Instead of a cosmic rock, the newly discovered object appears to be an old rocket from a failed lunar-landing mission 54 years ago that is finally returning home, according to NASA’s leading planetary expert. Inspection should help enhance its identification.
“I am shocked,” Paul Chodas told the Associated Press. “Finding one of these and drawing a link like this has been a hobby of mine, and I’ve been doing it for decades.”
Chodas estimates that the group’s 2020 SO, as it is formally known, is actually the center high rocket stage that successfully launched NASA’s Surveyor 2 lander to the moon in 1966. Before throwing. One of its thrillers failed to explode along the way after the lander hit the moon. The rocket, meanwhile, has passed over the moon and is orbiting the sun as a definite junk, never to be seen again – perhaps so far.
Last month, a telescope in Hawaii discovered a mysterious object in our path while conducting a search to save our planet from doomsday rocks. The unit was immediately added to our International Astronomical Union’s list of stars and comets discovered in our solar system at the Minor Planet Center, just 5,000 of a million points.
The unit is approximately 26 feet (8 m) long based on its brightness. It is located in the old Centaur’s Ballpark, which is less than 32 inches (10 m) long with its engine nozzle and 10 feet (3 m) in diameter.
What caught Chodas’ attention was that its orbit around the sun is exactly the same as that of the earth – unusual for a planetary storm.
“Flag number one,” said Chodas, director of the Near-Earth Object Study Center at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
The object is also in the same plane as the Earth, not hovering above or below another red flag. Asteroids usually zip at strange angles. Finally, it is approaching Earth at a speed of 1,500 miles per hour (2,400 kilometers), slowed down by the parameters of the star.
As the object approaches, astronomers should be able to better chart its bit rabbit and determine how much it is pushed by the thermal effects of radiation and sunlight. If it is an old center – essentially a light empty can – it will grow separately from a heavy space rock, less sensitive to external forces.
Astronomers usually distinguish between stars and space junk, like parts of a ready-made rocket, because both appear as moving dots in the sky. Chhodas said there are probably dozens of fake stars, but their moves are very wrong or flared up to confirm their fake identities.
Sometimes it’s the other way around.
For example, in 1991 a mysterious object, Choudas and others, was determined to be a regular planet instead of a wreck, even though the orbit around the sun was similar to that of the earth.
Even more interesting, in 2002, Chodas found out what he believed was the third phase of the 19th Apollo 12, the second moon landing by astronauts from Apollo 12 in 1969. He believes that given the one-year cycle around the Earth, the evidence was circumstantial. It was never designated a planet, and was abandoned in 2003.
The path of the latest object is straightforward and more stable, boosting its theory.
“I could be wrong about that. I don’t want to believe too much, ”Chodas said. “But in my opinion this is the first time that all the pieces fit together with a real known start.”
And he’s glad to hear that this is a mission he raised in 1966, in Canada, as a teenager.
Choudhury’s conclusion is “a good one” based on solid evidence, said Carrie Nugent, a shipwrecker at the Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts. He is the author of the 2017 book “Asteroid Hunters”.
“Some more data will be useful so we can know for sure,” he said in an email. “Ship hunters around the world will keep looking at this object to get that data. I’m glad to see how it develops! ”
Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics noted that “many, many embarrassing events lie in the deep horoscope … for a few days before the temporary planetary positions were obtained they were fake.”
This is less obvious.
Last year, a British amateur astronomer, Nick Hoves, announced that a planetary ship in the solar bit Rabbit had a abandoned moon from NASA’s Apollo 10, the Apollo 11 lunar landing exercise. Although this item is probably fake, Chodas and others are skeptical about the connection.
Skepticism is good, Hoves wrote in an email. By the end of the 2030s, “when it’s next in our neck of the woods, hopefully it’ll lead to more observations.”
The latest target of Chodas’ interest was the earth in his lap in 1984 and 2002. But seeing at a distance of 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) was so mediocre.
He predicts that the object will spend about four months orbiting the Earth after it falls in mid-November, before returning to its orbit around the Sun next March.
Chodas suspects the object will hit the ground – “At least not this time.”
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