Objects flying around the Earth don’t represent any new scenario, as 2,666 artificial satellites are present on the planet’s orbit. The number will even go up in the next years, as SpaceX will keep deploying Starlink satellites for providing more internet access across the globe.
Our beloved Moon is our trustful companion everywhere we go at night, but it seems that it will soon have a ‘little sister’.
Prepare for 2020 SO
There’s not much to know yet about the 2020 SO object, but it’s surely heading towards our planet. Another fact is that it will become a so-called ‘mini-moon’, as it will be trapped in the Earth’s orbit starting this October. There’s no use getting scared, as our planet is regularly getting small asteroids and meteors under its orbit, and astronomers also call them ‘mini-moons’.
2020 SO will get closer
The object will be taking a closer look at us on December 1, when it will fly by at a distance of only about 50,000 kilometers. The next close approach will be on February 2021. Once again, no reasons to worry here, as the ‘mini-moon’ is harmless and it doesn’t show any signs of wanting to collide with our planet.
Astronomer Tony Dunn comes and say:
“Asteroid 2020 SO may get captured by Earth from Oct 2020 – May 2021. Current nominal trajectory shows capture through L2, and escape through L1.
“Highly-chaotic path, so be prepared for lots of revisions as new observations come in.”
What exactly is the 2020 SO object?
The clues point to the hypothesis that 2020 SO is a man-made object, as it flies at significantly lower speeds than comets and asteroids. NASA’s Paul Chodas of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is placing its bet on the object being a piece of old space junk.
2020 SO will have plenty of time of showing astronomers what it is made of, as it will be revolving the Earth until May 2021.