Piece from the sky is falling, but don’t be a Chicken Licken


Published on SundayTimes on 01.11.2015 – http://www.sundaytimes.lk/151101/news/piece-from-the-sky-is-falling-but-dont-be-a-chicken-licken-169950.html

Will you be fishing 100 km south of Sri Lanka on November 13?  If so, for what it is worth, you’d better wear a steel helmet and, possibly, body armour to protect yourself from what is believed to be a falling leftover piece of a rocket, although scientists say much of this space debris will burn up before it hits the earth.

According to the Arthur C. Clerk Institute for Modern Technologies, the object is quite small, at most a couple of metres in diameter, and a significant part of it, if not all, can burn before entering our atmosphere. Only whatever is left will fall into the ocean about 100 km off the southern coast of Sri Lanka.

There is nothing to worry about, as the mass of the object is not sufficient to cause any damage or threat to the area, yet the show will still be spectacular. It will brighten up the sky for a few seconds around 11:49 p.m. Sri Lanka time.

The object was first sighted by the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona discovered on February 18, 2013, only to lose track of it.

The object was again spotted on November 29, 2013 and again the scientists lost track of it. Sky observers only managed to locate it on October 3 and since then has been keeping a close watch, monitoring its orbit and estimating its speed and the likely date of its entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

The scientists who observed the object say the object could not be an asteroid as it is low in density and appears to be manmade. Science Magazine Nature says the object could be a piece from the Apollo era debris.

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