The mystery is finally over – the space object that was captured from Earth orbit is in fact a rocket booster from the 1960s. NASA Approved.
“Due to the extreme impotence of this object, it follows [Center for Near-Earth Object Studies] Prediction was a challenging object to characterize, “said Vishnu Reddy, associate professor and planetary scientist at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, in one Explanation. “We got color observations with the Large Binocular Telescope, or LBT, which indicated that 2020 SO was not an asteroid.”
“That conclusion was the result of tremendous team effort,” added Reddy. “Thanks to the great work of Pan-STARRS, Paul Chodas and the team from CNEOS, LBT, we were finally able to solve this puzzle. [Infrared Telescope Facility]and the observations around the world. “
On Tuesday, the rocket booster came closest to Earth when it was 50,000 kilometers from the planet. according to to the founder of the Virtual Telescope Project, Gianluca Masi.
NASA has released a video of 2020 SO orbits around the earth.
Unfortunately, the Surveyor 2 never completed its journey and crashed on the lunar surface on September 23, 1966. However, the Centaur booster “sailed past the moon and disappeared into an unknown orbit around the sun,” NASA said earlier.
The rocket booster was originally discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey on September 17, 2020 and announced two days later.
2020 SO initially drifted “slowly” into the earth Hill ball on November 8, 2020 and will stay there for approximately four months before going back into orbit around the sun in March 2021.