Mysterious piece of space junk burns up over Indian Ocean

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Though scientists have not yet identified it, the piece of space junk discovered last month in an unusual orbit with a predictable moment of decay has burned up over the Indian Ocean,

Estimated to measure 1–2 metres across, WT1190F had circled the Earth–Moon system since at least 2009, says independent astronomy-software developer Bill Gray, who has been working with NASA to track the debris. It most likely came off a recent lunar spacecraft, but it is not out of the question that it could have dated to the Apollo era.

In at least one case, scientists were able to image the object as it burned up. The data from this will allow them to determine its chemical composition, which in turn might help them identify it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *