The mystery is finally over – the space object, which was captured from Earth’s orbit, is indeed a rocket accelerator from the 60s, confirmed NASA.
On Wednesday, the government space agency said the object known as the 2020 SO was not an asteroid, but rather part of a Centaur rocket accelerator from the Surveyor 2 spacecraft, launched into the moon in 1966.
“Due to the extreme weakness of this site after [Center for Near-Earth Object Studies] forecasting was a challenging object to characterize, ”Vishnu Reddy, an associate professor and planetary scientist at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, said in a statement. “We received color observations with the Large Binocular Telescope or LBT, which suggested that the 2020 SO was not an asteroid.”
A MYSTERIOUS OBJECT THAT COULD BE A ROCKET ROCKET IN THE 1960S TODAY YOU WILL FLY PAST THE EARTH: HOW TO SEE IT
“This conclusion was the result of a huge team effort,” Reddy added. “We finally managed to solve this mystery because of the great work of Pan-STARRS, Paul Chodas and the team from CNEOS, LBT, [Infrared Telescope Facility]and observations around the world. “
On Tuesday, the launch vehicle made its closest brush to Earth when it reached 50,000 kilometers (31,000 miles) from the planet, according to virtual telescope project founder Gianluca Massi.
NASA has released a video of cyclical orbits around SO around 2020.
Unfortunately, Surveyor 2 never completed its voyage, crashing to the moon on September 23, 1966. But the Centaur’s booster “sailed past the moon and disappeared into an unknown orbit around the sun,” NASA said earlier.
The rocket accelerator was first discovered by the Pan-STARRS study on September 17, 2020 and announced two days later.
2020 SO initially “slowly drifted” into the Earth Hill sphere on November 8, 2020, and will remain there for about four months before returning to orbit around the sun in March 2021.
Click here to get the FOX NEWS app