Really ancient asteroid surveyor NASA two rockets

Pablo Tucker
October 13, 2020

"I'm pretty jazzed about this", Paul Chodas told The Associated Press. "It " s been a hobby of mine to find one of these and draw such a link, and I " ve been doing it for decades now".

Chodas believes the object is actually the Centaur upper rocket stage from the NASA Surveyor 2 mission in 1966.

The lander ended up crashing into the moon, due to one of its igniters failing. The rocket, in the meantime, swept previous the moon and into orbit across the solar as meant junk, by no means to be seen once more - till maybe now.

Last month, astronomers in the United States had spotted a new "mini-moon" circling the planet Earth which is about the size of a vehicle. 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. Based on its brightness, experts believe that the object has a diameter of around eight meters.

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The scientists said that this object is a near-circular-object around the Sun, which is quite unusual for an asteroid. Asteroids usually zip at odd angles.

He also pointed to how the object is approaching Earth at 1,500mph, which is slow compared to previous asteroids.


That's how astronomers usually differentiate between asteroids and house junk like deserted rocket elements, since each seem merely as transferring dots within the sky.

Sometimes it's the other way around. NASA's leading asteroid expert Paul Chodas officially speculates the Asteroid 2020 SO.

Astronomers will be able to better determine what the 2020 SO will be as it gets closer to Earth, with an old Centaur rocket running separately in heavy space rockets. He admits that the evidence is contextual, given the confusion of objects orbiting the Earth for a year. "It's unlikely that an asteroid could have evolved into an orbit like this, but not impossible", Chodas told CNN in September.

The path of the latest object is straightforward and more stable, boosting its theory.

'I could be wrong on this. I don't want to believe too much, "Chodas said".

'But it's the first time, in my view, that all the pieces fit together with an actual known launch'.

And he's glad to hear that this is a mission he raised in 1966, in Canada, as a teenager.


Carrie Nugent, asteroid hunter at Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts, said Chodas' conclusion was a "good conclusion" based on solid evidence. She " s the author of the 2017 book "Asteroid Hunters".

"Some more data would be useful so we can know for sure". "Asteroid hunters around the world will continue to observe this object to get this data". It " s seldom clear-cut.

Last year, British amateur astronomer Nick Howes announced that an asteroid in solar orbit is likely to be an abandoned lunar module at NASA's Apollo 10 rehearsal for the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Although this item is probably fake, Chodas and others are skeptical about the connection.

Skepticism is nice, Howes wrote in an e-mail. In the late 2030s, "I hope more observations will be made when we are at the next stage of our forest".

The latest target of Chodas' interest was the earth in his lap in 1984 and 2002. But it was too dim to see from 5 million miles away, he said.

Whatever the object is, it's expected to stay in Earth's orbit for a few months this winter before continuing on its way.

He suspects the object will hit the ground - "at least not this time".


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