Research published by astronomers from the European Space Agency (ESA) in the Journal Nature, explained how a piece of space debris, better known as the WTF1190F, is expected to reach earth. The object is not related to asteroids or other types of natural extraterrestrial bodies because of its low density, trajectory and highly elliptical orbit.

According to astronomers, the object may land near the Indian Ocean on November 13, off the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Nonetheless, also exist the possibility that before landing on earth, the mysterious object burns up when it enters in contact with the atmosphere because of its composition and low density. The size of its orbit is around 1 to 2 meters.

Scientist declared that this object will not represent any risk to people that lives in the area. However, according to experts from ESA, the impact will be an spectacle full of light and brightness. Image:

ESA astronomers declared that the object is artificial rather than natural, because it’s too light to be a space rock. Furthermore, the ESA astronomers declared that this artificial object might be a spent rocket booster.

“This is too low to be a natural space rock, but it is compatible with being a hollow shell, […] This density is, in fact, compatible with the object being a hollow shell” said the ESA’s Detlef Koschny in a statement.

History of ‘WTF’

The object identified as WTF1190F is speculated to be part of a destroyed space rocket. Some people said that it might belong to the panel shed of the famous NASA mission to the moon, Apollo.

However, this object could be an important lost part of the space history. This is not the first time that observers have spotted the object. According to ESA, the object was observed several times before in 2013, by a group of the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona.

Furthermore, the “space junk” has had a long trajectory, and now astronomers expect that this discovery helps them to introduce a whole new perspective to study what happens with the trajectory and impact of objects plummeting down the Earth’s atmosphere.

“An ideal opportunity to test our readiness for any possible future atmospheric entry events involving an asteroid, since the components of this scenario, from discovery to impact, are all very similar,” said ESA Astronomer Marco Micheli in a statement.

Source: Nature