Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Space Junk

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There’s something strange in the air: a legitimate unidentified flying object, which is hurtling through the atmosphere and poised to strike somewhere in the Indian Ocean, about 60 miles off the southern coast of Sri Lanka.

Scientists have absolutely no idea what this object is.

Some predictions think it’s an old piece of rocket, others think it’s a natural piece of “space junk,” and others are just plain not sure.

But whatever it is, the UFO has a comically appropriate name: The European Space Agency (ESA) has officially dubbed the object WT1190F, which would be shortened in their vernacular to “WTF.” WTF is often used as an acronym for the phrase, “what the f*ck?”

However, it’s not clear that the unidentified object would pose any threat to human life.

“The object is quite small, at most a couple of meters in diameter, and a significant fraction if not all of it can be expected to completely burn up in the atmosphere,” explained Tim Flohrer, an agent with the ESA’s Space Debris Office.

Other experts agreed:

“If anything makes it down to the surface…it would be very small, so the odds of anybody getting hurt are very remote,” explained Bill Harwood, CBS News Space Correspondent. “The thing that this always brings to mind is, all satellites and rocket bodies enter on a fairly regular basis so it’s not at all unusual.”

However, even though the object is small, because it’s traveling at such a high speed, there is a chance that it could hit people or a manmade structure—which would almost certainly result in some death or destruction.

Regardless, with no way to stop the small object hurtling towards Earth, all scientists can is, “WTF?”



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