FRIDAY 13TH FREAKOUT: SPACE DEBRIS TO COLLIDE WITH EARTH...
(USA Today) -- A mysterious piece of space debris called WT1190F is expected to enter Earth’s atmosphere near Sri Lanka Friday.
The piece of space debris is fittingly colliding with Earth on the unluckiest day on the calendar – Friday the 13th.
The object is believed to be a discarded rocket body and will likely enter Earth’s atmosphere from above the Indian Ocean around 11:49 local time or 1:19 a.m. E.T., according to the European Space Agency. In preparation for the object's entry, there is a no-fly zone order and no fishing will be allowed in the "Southern sea area" on Nov. 13, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense said in a statement earlier this week.
When the object enters the atmosphere, it will likely burn up completely, though whatever does not burn will likely plunge into the Indian Ocean.
"Its mass is not sufficient to cause any risk to the area, but the show will still be spectacular, since for a few seconds the object will become quite bright in the mid-day sky," ESA said in the statement.
According to NASA, there are more than 500,000 pieces of space junk that are being tracked as they orbit Earth. WT1190F was first spotted in 2013 by the Catalina Sky Survey, based at the University of Arizona, and has been observed several times over the years, according to the ESA.
Researchers used observational data to estimate the objects density and were able to conclude that it was not an asteroid. It appears to be manmade and it’s possible the object is from the Apollo era, according to Nature.