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Mysterious artificial satellite orbiting Earth

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posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 10:24 PM
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It's not quite another moon, but Earth is currently being orbited by an artificial satellite that reminds astronomers of... an empty trash bag.

The Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) telescope in Haleakala, Hawaii, first spotted it Friday. The object now has the designation "A10bMLz," which is both unimpressive for an Earth satellite and yet not bad for something reminiscent of a plastic bag.



Astronomers have spotted "empty trash bags" before, but this one has an unusual orbit that brings it within 600 km (373 miles) of Earth's surface at its closest and takes it 1.4 times the distance to the moon at its farthest point. Similar objects have typically kept much closer to Earth.


'Empty trash bag' spotted orbiting Earth

More than likely this is just a piece of metal foil from a rocket launch. The strange thing is that the object has an orbit that takes it out past the moon and then very close to Earth.

The object does not have a lot of mass and it comes within 373 miles of Earth, why doesn't Earths gravity capture it and keep it close?




posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars



The object does not have a lot of mass and it comes within 373 miles of Earth, why doesn't Earths gravity capture it and keep it close?


The nature of a hyperbolic type orbit. As it approaches the Earth it picks up velocity and is flung around the Earth quite fast. The faster you go the higher the orbit (further away). Earth's gravity is strong enough to keep it from leaving, as gravity slows it down, until it reaches 1.4 lunar distance, which it's traveling it's slowest.

In order to become a more circular orbit, it would need to be kicked (influenced by gravity, or thrusters) at certain points in it's orbit, for a certain amount of time, which would then slowly make the orbit more circular (if you've ever played around with the Kerbal Space Program, you can do this yourself in the game....quite a learning experience).



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 10:37 PM
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Fascinating stuff. I imagine they'll do some spectrographic analysis of it and determine what it's made of.



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 10:38 PM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

I will have to look at the Kerbal Space Program, thanks. How would it get into an orbit like that if it is just junk from a rocket launch?


astronomers have never before seen an object like it orbiting so far out



edit on 29-1-2019 by LookingAtMars because: add quote



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

Well, if it's from a Moon mission (be it Apollo, or some probe) at one point the rockets have to fire to do what is called a Lunar Injection Orbit.

This means you must give your craft enough thrust to move away from the Earth so that it heads to where the Moon is going to be....but not too fast, as you want the Moon's gravity to capture you with only a little bit of retro burn from your thrusters at that point.

It's quite possible that this space junk was part of the craft when it fired it's rockets to do just that, so this object gained that momentum.

However, it was ejected prior to the slowing down part near the Moon, so it kept it's velocity...but that velocity was only enough to take it 1.4 Lunar distance before the Earth's gravity pulls it back towards it.

Because it's perigee is over 300 miles above the Earth's surface, it's well above the Earth's atmosphere to cause any drag and slow it down. If it's perigee had been say only 200 miles or less from Earth, the atmosphere would cause just a little bit of drag.....which in turn would make it's orbit decay slowly over time.



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 11:01 PM
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Why wouldn't other nearby bodies (moon, mars, sun) affect this object's orbit? Considering this artificial satellite comes within 300 miles of Earth's surface, It wouldn't take much non-Earth gravitational influence to bring it into our atmosphere.



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 11:06 PM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

If it is space junk it would almost have to come from a moon mission. Thanks for the info.



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 11:13 PM
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I think it's a body bag that contains the remains of Jimmy Hoffa.

That's my theory and I'm sticking with it...

/jk

-dex



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 11:34 PM
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a reply to: carewemust

I know it might seem like it should be influenced by the Moon, as big as it is.....but, the Moon is only roughly as wide as the USA is.

It averages 250,000 miles out. That means that the distance it travels around the Earth is approx. 1,570,000 miles. The Moon's gravity is significantly weaker than the Earth's, so any object that is going to be "kicked" or influenced by the Moon, needs to travel quite close to it.

That's a crap shoot. It might do it one day.....but it could be thousands of years before it happens.

If it happens. I imagine that it's orbit intersects the Moon's.......but I didn't see where they said it did. If the object's orbit is a polar Orbit.....it will most likely never intersect the Moon's orbit (but then that kind of begs the question of how it got in that orbit in the first place).

Atmosphere for air breaking is more common for slowing objects in orbit down. Gravity is normally used to accelerate objects (not that it can't be used to slow down, just not commonly done).

In any case, I'm pretty sure it's just a piece of space junk from a Moon mission.

Or.....congrats! Y'all have found the first Alien Von Neumann Probe!



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 11:38 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

Massive extraterrestrial first contact would finally turn mankind around. People will stop thinking education makes you stupid.



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 11:48 PM
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It makes sense that first contact would be the aliens' version of the garbage truck coming to clean up our sh!t.



posted on Jan, 29 2019 @ 11:48 PM
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That pesky Black Knight is back at it, I see. Or, our space garbage is a garbage bag.
edit on 29-1-2019 by Starhooker because: Cuz



posted on Jan, 30 2019 @ 12:03 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

If this object has been up/out there this many decades, it's surprising that it is still a mystery.



posted on Jan, 30 2019 @ 02:35 AM
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originally posted by: DexterRiley

I think it's a body bag that contains the remains of Jimmy Hoffa.

That's my theory and I'm sticking with it...

/jk

-dex


A few hours ago, in another thread, Hoffa was buried under the White House.



For a dead guy, he really gets around!


edit on 30/1/2019 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2019 @ 08:44 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

To reach the moon, one does not need to reach earth escape velocity

This is because the moon is captive of earths gravity and has its own gravity field

To get to the moon all one needs is to reach the point, about 205.000 miles, where the moon's gravity is sufficient to
capture the object

The Soviets Zond lunar probes of the 1960's used a very elliptical orbit with its apogee at the moon



posted on Jan, 30 2019 @ 10:03 AM
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My money is on one of the numerous Chinese launches to the Moon, such as the Chang'e 4 relay satelliite, which was launched to the Earth-Moon L2 point: en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 30-1-2019 by wildespace because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2019 @ 10:59 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars
a reply to: eriktheawful

I will have to look at the Kerbal Space Program, thanks. How would it get into an orbit like that if it is just junk from a rocket launch?


astronomers have never before seen an object like it orbiting so far out




Lots of junk was left in those elongated orbits by Apollo missions and later unmanned probes. The most famous was the jettisoned panel on Apollo-11.

www.jamesoberg.com...



posted on Jan, 30 2019 @ 11:00 PM
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originally posted by: wildespace
My money is on one of the numerous Chinese launches to the Moon, such as the Chang'e 4 relay satelliite, which was launched to the Earth-Moon L2 point: en.wikipedia.org...


Good guess, it's the most recent mission by a long shot. Kudos.



posted on Jan, 31 2019 @ 12:09 AM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

It is a probe ejected from the Oumuamua solar sail.
Or one of those Roswell weather balloons.
edit on 1/31/2019 by MissSmartypants because: Edit



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