Three tons of space debris, possibly an old rocket, is approaching the Moon. The effect will create a large and eternal hole.
On Friday, the remnants of the rocket hit the back of the moon at a speed of about 9,300 kilometers per hour. Since it’s the back that’s been hit, it will take weeks or months to get satellite images that can show the crater made by the scrap.
It was discussed who is responsible for the remains of the missile.
Experts believe it was part of a rocket that China launched into space several years ago. But Chinese officials are skeptical that it is their space junk that has been floating in space for many years.
Regardless of the origin – the object that scientists can see today will make a hole of 10-20 meters and send lunar dust hundreds of kilometers above the barren surface of the moon.
Forgot the junk
It is relatively easy to track space debris in the low lane. There is a lot of trash floating around the ground itself. These parts can be a major problem because critical equipment is at risk of damage. If a satellite hits the shrapnel, it will be destroyed and even dangerous garbage.
Most debris in the atmosphere burns up due to the friction created by air resistance, but some space debris can hover for more than 100 years around the Earth.
Objects captured from above in space pose no danger and most people forget about them. There are only a few interested people who follow the remains of human activities.
It was mathematician and physicist Bill Gray who discovered in January that the remnant had a path to the moon. Gray created software that professional and amateur astronomers around the world use to track asteroids, minor planets, comets — and other things.
SpaceX or China?
It was initially believed that the scrap originated from a Falcon 9 rocket from the private space company SpaceX, owned by Tesla founder Elon Musk. But in February, Gray corrected the information and said the UFO may not have been from SpaceX after all.
Gray thinks the remains are likely from a Chinese launch in 2014. China then sent a capsule sample to the moon and back. But Chinese officials deny that it came from, and say that the missile parts re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and burned.
But scrap scraps may also originate from another Chinese mission to the Moon in 2020.
The US Space Command, which monitors space debris in low Earth orbit, cannot confirm the country of origin of the object that will now collide with the Moon.
– Our mission is to observe the objects closest to Earth, said a spokesperson.
Gray believes he has become more confident in his case.
“I’ve learned that it’s wise to be a little more careful, but I don’t really see that it could be anything else,” he says.
The effect will be the same
This assessment is supported by Jonathan McDowell of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, but adds that no matter where the objects come from, the effect will be the same.
The collision will leave a crater on the moon’s surface.
The moon already contains countless craters, some as far as 2,500 km.
With little or no real atmosphere, the Moon is unprotected from the constant blowouts of meteors and asteroids — or the accidental hits from spacecraft remnants, including a few crashes on purpose for the sake of science.
Without weather, there is no erosion, so these pits last forever.
You won’t be able to see the accident
What enthusiasts and experts are feeling most right now is that they won’t be able to see the collapse itself because it’s happening on the back of the moon.
“I had long hoped that something big would hit the moon, and it would happen near the moon and at a time when we could actually follow it,” says Gray.
He says it doesn’t really matter what nationality the junk is.
Nobody particularly cares what they do with the trash in the far lanes, says Gray.
However, McDowell believes it is time to take on more responsibility.
We are now at a time when many countries and private companies are exploring space and leaving things behind. McDowell thinks it’s time to start tracking that.
– And today, he adds, nobody really keeps track.
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