A mysterious object will fly across the earth tomorrow, scientists are not yet sure what it is.
Called 2020 SO by astronomers, the object will arrive within 31,605 miles of our planet by ET at 3:50 a.m. Dec. 1, according to NASA’s Center for Object Research (CNEOS).
Gianluca Masi, an astronomer with the Virtual Telescope Project, said it was a “very close” approach, even though it was a safe approach that would cover a distance equal to 13 percent of the average distance between our planet and the moon. Newsweek.
The object was discovered on September 17, 2020 by a Bon-Stars survey based in Maui, Hawaii, estimated to measure 15-33 feet. The discovery was confirmed two days later by the Minor Planet Center. Responsible for placing small bodies in the solar system.
Early observations suggested that the object was an asteroid. But scientists at CNEOS soon began to suspect that 2020 SO was not a normal asteroid.
We do not know on the Virtual Telescope Project website that “this is an asteroid — that is, the natural body.”
CNEOS Director Paul Sodas later suggested that 2020 SO was not an asteroid, which has been tentatively identified as the Center Rocket Booster since NASA’s failed Surveyor 2 lunar mission launched on September 20, 1966.
He came to this conclusion after turning the clock and running backwards in the orbit of the object using a computer model.
According to NASA, Sodas discovered that the object had already passed very close to Earth for decades.
“One of the possible paths for the 2020 SO was to bring the Earth and the Moon very close in late September 1966,” Sodas said in a statement. “It was like a Eureka moment, quickly checking release dates for lunar missions and showing a competition with Surveyor 2 work.”
The low relative speed of the object and the orbital plane supported the argument that the object did not have a natural origin.
2020 SO was captured by the Earth’s gravitational pull on November 8, and calculations show that it will remain in orbit around our planet as a temporary satellite until March 2021 before escaping into a new orbit around the Sun.
As 2020 SO approaches Earth, astronomers will look at the object to determine whether or not space has shrunk since the 1960s.