Space Junk

November 13, 2015

castleBright again and chilly this Friday morning on California’s north coast as we work our way toward the weekend.
Rain is expected on Sunday and appears might last all through next week. Although mostly low ‘chance’ of rain, the forecast seems to indicate wet days ahead.

Although it’s Friday the 13th, a mysterious object fell into the Indian Ocean earlier today, upholding scientists refrain of  ‘there’s nothing to fear.’
Via this morning:

The bizarre object WT1190F has been orbiting Earth for years on an elliptical path and is likely a piece of a rocket body a few meters in diameter, European Space Agency (ESA) officials said in a statement.

Popularly referred to in the media as “WTF,” the object popped us without incident.

(Illustration: Irvine Peacock’s ‘Castle of Illusions,‘ found here).

Details on the extraordinary space thingy from CBS News:

WT1190F was first discovered in 2013 by the Catalina Sky Survey, which identifies near-Earth objects in space.
It had been observed several times since then by the same team.
In October, the object was sighted again and it was determined that it was likely to enter the Earth’s atmosphere Nov. 13.
Any pieces that managed to survive burn-up upon reentry were expected to land in the Indian Ocean.
Scientists were unable to identify WT1109F as it approached, but were fairly certain it was not an asteroid, but manmade — likely a discarded rocket body, possibly a remnant from a recent Chinese mission, or even dating back to the Apollo era.
Experts were excited not just to identify the mysterious space junk, but also to use the unique opportunity to track it for so long to learn more about how objects, including retired satellites as well as debris, behave upon reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.
“Second, it provides 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,” Marco Micheli, an astronomer at ESA’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre, said in October.

Now, back to our programming of disaster, war and general shit…

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