A large, unidentified space object with the abbreviated name of “WTF” is heading for a direct impact with our planet in just under a month.
Researchers say it is sheer coincidence that the newly discovered space junk has been officially named WT1190F.
Scientists who spotted the mysterious space debris say they cannot be certain what it is until it crashes into Earth. They say that WTF is up to two metres wide and might be hollow, suggesting it is of artificial origin.
The Mirror reports:
But aside from these meagre pieces of information, skygazers can only speculate about its true origin.
“[It could be] a lost piece of space history that’s come back to haunt us”, Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics told Nature News.
This means the mystery debris might be a discarded part of a spaceship and perhaps even a remnant from the Saturn V rockets which took Apollo astronauts to the moon.
Named “WT1190F”, the object is locked into a “deep Earth orbit”, travelling around the planet at a large distance.
This makes it harder to identify than asteroids or space debris which which fly past on near earth orbits.
Thankfully, experts have a better idea of the possible level of harm which could be caused by the danger debris.
It should plop harmlessly into the Indian Ocean on November 13, if it doesn’t burn up in the atmosphere.
However, humans might want to get out of WTF’s way if they want to live to see the beginning of 2016.
“I would not necessarily want to be going fishing directly underneath it,” said Bill Gray from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory