Thursday, January 21, 2021
Home Lead Story Scientists: Asteroid Heading Towards Earth May Actually be a Rocket

Scientists: Asteroid Heading Towards Earth May Actually be a Rocket

Asteroid 2020 SO is estimated to be roughly eight meters long, based on its brightness

A scientist from the U.S. space agency says what was thought to be a small asteroid heading towards Earth may actually be a 54-year-old section from a rocket coming back home.

The head of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), Paul Chodas, told the Associated Press the object was first spotted by a telescope in Hawaii last month as part of the ongoing effort to monitor space objects that may pass close to Earth and possibly pose a threat.

Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.

Chodas said further observations of the object, named Asteroid 2020 SO, indicated it had that a near-circular orbit around the sun, similar to Earth’s, an unusual characteristic for an asteroid, and a first clue that it might have originated from here.

Chodas said the object is also in the same orbital plane as Earth, not tilted above or below, while asteroids that originate in deep space the sun orbit at odd angles. Finally, its speed approaching Earth is about 2,400 kilometers per hour, slow by asteroid standards.

Scientist: ‘Asteroid’ Approaching Earth May Actually Be Old Piece of Rocket
The NASA scientist speculates 2020 SO is actually the upper stage of a Centaur rocket that successfully propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 unmanned lunar probe to the moon in 1966 before it was discarded. Pinterest

Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: पाक पर मंडरा रहा खतरा, इमरान की घबराहट बढ़ी

The NASA scientist speculates 2020 SO is actually the upper stage of a Centaur rocket that successfully propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 unmanned lunar probe to the moon in 1966 before it was discarded.

The lander had been designed to land on the moon but crashed there after one of its thrusters failed. The rocket, meanwhile, swept past the moon and into orbit around the sun as it was designed to do.

Also Read: India’s Startup Ecosystem Recovering Faster Than Expected: Report

Asteroid 2020 SO is estimated to be roughly eight meters long, based on its brightness, which would be roughly the size of the Centaur rocket section, which would be less than ten meters long and three meters in diameter.

Chodas has made a personal hobby of trying find such discarded pieces of NASA history, and is excited about confirming his speculation as the object gets closer. He predicts once it gets close enough next month, Asteroid 2020 SO will be captured in Earth’s orbit and spend about four months circling Earth before shooting back out into its own orbit around the sun. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Analyzing The Impact Of Air Pollution In New Delhi

A unique experiment to gauge the hazardous levels of polluted air in Delhi and surrounding areas, where a woman wore a backpack with novel...

Improvements In Facebook AI To Aid Visually Impaired

Facebook has announced new improvements in its artificial intelligence (AI) technology to generate descriptions of photos posted on its platforms including Instagram for the...

Obesity: Major issue for mental health in teens

If you are obese, there are chances that it may lead to some mental health issues, as a new study suggests that half of...

Concerns grow over global disparities in vaccination

As an increasing number of countries started mass vaccination, gaps in access to Covid-19 vaccines, especially huge disparities between the developed world and developing...

Students Do Not Switch On Video Cameras During Online Zoom Classes Due To Privary Concerns

Ever thought about why some students do not turn on their video cameras during online classes on Zoom? Because they may be more concerned...

5G Networks To Be Halted Until The Safety Is Tested And Proven

The rollout of 5G networks should be halted until the safety of the technology has been tested and proven, an expert has urged. According...

List Of The 5 Best Lakes In Switzerland

Switzerland is known as the home of the mountains but did you know that Switzerland also has more than 1,500 lakes and water bodies!...

Know More About Hypothyroidism And Thyroid Glands

Do you constantly feel run down, exhausted, and cold when others are warm? This so happens when the thyroid gland isn't working as well...

Recent Comments