Mysterious WTF Rocket Body To Hit Earth On 13 November

Posted: Oct 28 2015, 5:39am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 28 2015, 9:58pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Mysterious WTF Rocket Body to Hit Earth on 13 November
WT1190F observed on 9 October 2015 with the University of Hawaii 2.2 meter telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. [Credits: B. Bolin, R. Jedicke, M. Micheli]
  • Re-Entry of Objects both Man-Made and Natural into the Atmosphere of Earth can Lend Vital Clues

The re-entry of objects, which include both man-made and natural ones, into the atmosphere of earth can lend vital clues to mankind regarding certain aspects of outer space.

Next month, a re-entry of a rocket-like object into the atmosphere of our planet will serve as an opportunity for scientists to make crucial observations. All near-earth objects (NEOs) can be studied at length via this methodology.

These include within their purview asteroids and dilapidated satellites. The object has been termed WT11 90F and it has been in an orbital axis around earth for some time.

"An object discovered on 3 October 2015, temporarily designated WT1190F by the observers, will enter the Earth's atmosphere on 13 November. It was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey," ESA said in a statement.

“NEO experts have used observational data to estimate the object’s density, which turns out to be much less than that of the solid rocky material that comprises many asteroids,” says Detlef Koschny, responsible for NEO activities at ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme office.

“This density is in fact compatible with the object being a hollow shell, such as the spent upper stage of a rocket body or part of a stage.”

Although the object is pretty small, questions arise as to its incineration in the stratosphere. Yet the experts have assured the public that it will most likely burn up before reaching even close to the inhabitants of the earth.

“The object is quite small, at most a couple of metres in diameter, and a significant fraction if not all of it can be expected to completely burn up in the atmosphere,” says Tim Flohrer, from ESA’s Space Debris Office at the ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

Meanwhile, the observations are progressing along their path as usual. The re-entry of space debris into our domain is a pretty interesting topic. It is one worth exploring for all it is worth. There are those who are fearful lest this unidentified flying object collide with our earth and they have taken to calling it “WTF” which is a facetious take on its actual label.

The fact of the matter is that even if it does make it into the earth’s atmosphere, it will probably take a nosedive into the Indian Ocean. Yes, agreed that scientists are still busy studying it, but that does not make it a UFO.

The object is probably a vestigial part of some age old mission NASA engaged in a generation or two ago. And today we are seeing its benign aftereffects. It is not a large object but rather a small one. Furthermore, it is likely to fall off the coast of Sri Lanka.

Firstly, there is no reason for us human beings to worry ourselves sick about this happenstance. It may likely be a harmless object.

One thing is for sure, since most of the earth is oceanic in nature, the object will probably not be making an impact with the ground. This is good news indeed. The fact that this accident of sorts will allow the technocrats to test the defense system of the earth against asteroids is another reason to rejoice.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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