You may be surprised to learn that a “mysterious object dubbed ‘WT1190F’” is headed directly for Earth. THIS IS TRUE. But scientists now have a pretty good idea what it is—and think it will probably burn up before it reaches the planet. ‘WT...F’ is coming??!?!?!
As we reported earlier this week, WT1190F is a hunk of space junk about seven feet long. Because of the way it’s behaving—not like an asteroid—scientists believe it’s long and hollow, which means it’s likely a piece of a discarded rocket body. We don’t know exactly which rocket it’s from, which is interesting. And it is, technically, on a collision course with our planet, traveling in a highly elliptical orbit. Which is also interesting.
According to the European Space Agency—which calls the debris “low risk”—it will provide a unique chance to test their data modeling on an erratic piece of debris. The fact that it will fall to Earth makes it special among the thousands of pieces of debris currently orbiting our planet. However, it will likely all burn up in the atmosphere before it even reaches the Indian Ocean:
Its mass is not sufficient to cause any risk to the area, but the show will still be spectacular, since for a few seconds the object will become quite bright in the mid-day sky.
So expect another round of Deep Impact-like status updates accompanying what should be some pretty cool photos when WT1190F arrives here on Friday, November 13.
Wait. FRIDAY THE 13th!?!?!?!?!