(ORDO NEWS) — Not far from our planet on the night of December 1, an unknown object flew by. After some time, he returned to the solar system, but astronomers have not been able to understand where he came from.
It is known that the dimensions of the unknown object are approximately 5 to 10 meters. He flew past the Earth at a distance of less than 50 thousand kilometers. It is worth noting that the distance to the moon is 384,400 kilometers. Astronomers believe that this object will return back only after a few months. This will happen either in February or in March 2021.
The celestial body was nicknamed the mini-moon. It was first discovered back in mid-September, and to this day, scientists argue about the exact origin of the unknown object. Astronomers originally thought it was an asteroid and named it 2020 SO.
After some time, it was possible to establish that the “mini-moon” is moving very slowly. The object’s speed is only 0.6 kilometers per second. This is much less than the speed of most asteroids. Typically, asteroids can travel between 11 and 72 kilometers per second. In this regard, astronomers were forced to abandon the theory that a celestial body is an asteroid.
Some experts are sure that this is an Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle. It was launched towards the Moon during Surveyor 2’s 60s mission. Sometime after the launch of the rocket, Surveyor 2 detached from its stage, and then communication was lost. There was information that the rocket collided with the Moon, but, most likely, Atlas-Centaurus flew past our satellite and disappeared in orbit near the Sun.
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