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Mysterious Space Junk Will Hit Earth on Friday the 13th

If we survive the Halloween asteroid that’s scheduled to have an extremely-close flyby while the kids are trick-or-treating, we may only have two weeks to wait until another possibly catastrophic event occurs on another scary day – Friday the 13th. That’s when a mysterious, supposedly man-made space object will plummet to Earth in the Indian Ocean not far from Sri Lanka. Should Sri Lankans be worried? Should we all be worried?

Let’s start with the mysterious part. NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are pretty confident the object is man-made but they have no idea who made it or what it is. The 7-foot-long object was first tracked in 2012 and just showed up again recently. Its elliptical orbit and movement suggest it’s hollow, which is why it’s thought to be man-made space junk. But from what?

An ESA picture of the space junk expected to crash on Friday the 13th

An ESA picture of the space junk expected to crash on Friday the 13th

Since the object is coming at Earth from beyond the moon, the first thought is that it’s part of a spacecraft from a moon mission, possibly even one of the Apollo flights from the 70s. While there’s all kinds of man-made debris in close Earth orbit, this is one of only 20 objects tracked by astronomers that’s in a distant orbit and – assuming it returns on Friday the 13th – will be the first to crash on its own and not induced by humans.

Will the object endanger Sri Lanka or neighboring countries? NASA and the ESA say no. Since it’s hollow, the object is expected to at least partially disintegrate upon re-entry and anything which remains intact will be small. In fact, the event is being promoted to astronomers as a great way to observe a space object whose path and point of impact have been so accurately predicted.

crash site

Assuming the predictions are accurate. If NASA and the ESA are so confident in their predictions, why did they name the object WTF1190F … as in What The [email protected]? Throw in the fact that the impact will occur on the THIRD Friday the 13th in 2015 and more than a few people are worried about this event.

Is a piece of space history coming back on Friday the 13th with a message? A warning? We’ll find out soon.

You might want to wear some protective gear

You might want to wear some protective gear

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Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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