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Space object to 'quietly' fly by Earth on Wednesday

Astronomers remain divided over the orogin of the 'mysterious' object.

NEW DELHI (BNS): An object from space, widely believed to be a man-made rocket fragment, will make a “quiet” fly-by of Earth on Wednesday, coming as close as 1,22,310 kilometers to the planet’s surface.

The object, named 2010 AL30, will pass by Earth at around 1246 GMT.

Astronomers spotted the ‘mysterious’ object in the sky on Monday. Many of them believe that it is a part of a man-made spacecraft.

Scientists at the US space agency NASA, however, say that 2010 AL30 is an asteroid as “its orbit reaches the orbit of Venus at its closest point to the Sun and nearly out to the orbit of Mars at its furthest point, crossing the Earth's orbit at a very steep angle.”

The object’s trajectory extrapolations also rule out the possibility that it is a part of any spaceship, NASA said, adding that it has not made any close approaches to the Earth since well before the Space Age began.

The ‘asteroid’ is about 10-15 meters in size – one of approximately 2 million such objects in near-Earth space and does not pose any risk to our planet as it is likely to burn up in Earth’s outer atmosphere.

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