Mystery UFO spotted during SpaceX livestream

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The SpaceX rocket in question is the fractured shell of a Falcon 9 launched by Elon Musk’s space firm in 2015. Officials used it to catapult a Deep Space Climate Observatory designed by the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Although it accomplished the task, a husk of one leftover booster is on course to hit the Moon’s surface.

What time will the SpaceX rocket hit the Moon?

The six-year-old rocket successfully delivered its NOAA payload to neutral gravity in February 2015.

The booster used to cover the last stretch of the trip was left floating in the vacuum, however, having used up the last of its fuel.

Until now, it was hanging in orbit, and astronomers believe it will conclude its journey in March.

Meteorologist Eric Berger told Ars Technica it “lacked the energy” to escape the neutral gravity.

That means it has followed a “somewhat chaotic orbit” since 2015.

In a Twitter post, Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer with the US Centre for Astrophysics, forecast the collision for March 4.

Other astronomers, both amateur and professional, have confirmed the prediction.

Tony Dunn, a self-proclaimed amateur who builds orbit simulations, projected the collision for March 4 at 12.13pm GMT.

But the forecast isn’t set in stone just yet, as scientists are awaiting more information.

Mr Dunn said they would need more information to confirm the observation in February.

By then, according to data analyst Bill Gray, astronomers should have a chance to observe the object.

Writing in his Project Pluto blog, he told readers it would be “basically impossible” to see the rocket until February 7.

Around then, it will enter “low elongations”, and in the two days following should appear “bright” and “close” but moving fast at around 2.58km per second.

While the enhanced observation will allow scientists to pinpoint where the object could land, it will also fade out of view at the same time.

Mr Gray said astronomers could “refine the impact point to within a kilometre or so”.

From February 10 to March 4, he said the rocket would re-enter low elongations and “we aren’t going to see anything”.

He added that the “bulk of the Moon” is ultimately in the way when the rocket makes its final descent.

Even if it were on the right side, he said, the impact would occur “a couple of days after New Moon”.

Although unobservable, Mr Gray said it would become the “first unintentional case” he has observed of space junk hitting the Moon.

Source: Read Full Article