Fake Asteroid Turns Out to Be a Remnant of a Failed Launch
With the growing space debris problem, this won't be the first fake asteroid we'll come across.
Science & Tech
Last month, an asteroid was spotted by NASA's Hawaii telescope but scientists are convinced that the asteroid is a piece of man-made space junk.
The celestial object named "asteroid 2020 SO" is expected to get into Earth's gravity field somewhere around November. It will likely circle the Earth for about four months before being slingshot into its own orbit around the sun in March.
Paul Chodas, the manager of the NASA Near Earth Objects (NEO) Program Office at JPL has expressed to AP that he's "pretty jazzed" about the matter and stated that it's been a hobby of his to find such objects and draw such links for decades.
The celestial body was discovered while folks at Hawaii were doing their regular doomsday asteroid scan. The object is roughly 26 ft in diameter (8 mt). The first thing that drew suspicion over the object was its orbit, it was quite similar to Earth's. Chodas remarks that it was the "flag number one." What's more, the object was also in the same plane as Earth, asteroids typically pass us by at odd angles. Flag number two.