The moon should not be too jealous. The earth now has another satellite, but this is only a temporary blow. The exact identity of this object, named 2020 SO, is still a lingering question, but you can watch it as it approaches Earth on Monday, November 30. The virtual telescope project will live broadcast the flyby in real time.
Earlier this month, the gravity of the Earth captured it into our planetary orbit, which makes 2020 SO a kind of mini moon.
Usually we will, And there are many people flying around in space. But 2020 SO may have a more realistic identity. The orbit around the sun in 2020-very similar to the Earth-has convinced researchers that it may not be a rock, Mission from NASA.
Gianluca Masi, the creator of the Virtual Telescope Project, has managed to capture a view of the tiny object on November 22. It looks like a dot under the background of stars.
Scientists at NASA JPL’s Center for Near-Earth Object Research (CNEOS) analyzed the path of 2020 SO and tracked it in time.
CNEOS Director Paul Chodas said in a NASA statement in early November: “One of the possible ways of 2020 SO is to bring the object very close to the Earth and the Moon in late September 1966.” “It’s like Eureka moment, when the launch date of the quick check to the moon mission shows that it matches the Surveyor 2 mission.”
NASA’s ill-fated Surveyor 2 lander eventually crashed on the surface of the moon, but the Centaur rocket booster escaped into space.
NASA expects that SO will stay in Earth’s orbit in 2020 until March 2021, and then it will revolve around the sun into a new orbit. The agency’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office shared the visual effects of the object traveling around the earth.
The upcoming approach will give astronomers an opportunity to understand the composition of 2020 SO and tell us whether it is indeed a relic from the 1960s.
Even from the perspective of a telescope, 2020 SO should look like a bright spot spreading in dark space. The coolest thing is the opportunity to witness a piece of space history returning to its ancient ground.