Unconfirmed reports say that a strange piece of space junk is expected to crash into the Indian Ocean on November 13, 2015. Researchers currently have no idea what it is.
According to Nature, “it (is) sheer coincidence that a newly discovered piece of space junk is officially designated WT1190F. But the letters in the name, which form the acronym for an unprintable expression of bafflement, are an appropriate fit for an object that is as mysterious as it is unprecedented.”
The object, being referred to as WTF1190F, is reportedly set to land in the Indian Ocean, around 40 miles (65km) off the southern tip of Sri Lanka, at 6:20 UTC on November 13. Much, if not all, of it will burn up in the atmosphere, but “I would not necessarily want to be going fishing directly underneath it”, says independent astronomy-software developer Bill Gray to Nature.
Said to measure up to 7ft long, there are many theories around what it might be — from a piece of rocket from a recent lunar mission to part of an Apollo program craft that may have been floating in space for around four decades. WT1190F’s trajectory was first calculated in 2012-13.
The good news is that rather than being a threat to Earth, the object is believed to give scientists a chance to observe a relatively small impact from its approach and landing.