It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
My dotAstronomy pal Edward Gomez from the Las Cumbres Observatory is reporting that a man-made object has been spotted orbiting the sun. First noticed in the Catalina Sky Survey on May 16, it was thought to be an asteroid, but then, because of its very circular and low-inclined orbit, Richard Miles, using the Faulkes Telescope North realized it could be man-made. Now dubbed 2010 KQ, it orbits the Sun every 1.04 years, and on May 21 it came within 1.28 lunar-distances of the Earth. Miles captured this image of the object, above, and spectral analysis of 2010 KQ is consistent with UV-aged titanium dioxide paint. What could it be?
Gomez says Miles believes it could be the 4th stage of a Russian Proton rocket which launched the Luna 23 lunar sample return attempt, which was launched on October 28, 1974 and reached lunar orbit in November of that year.
Read more about it, including info on how you could possibly track the object as well, on Edward's blog. Hopefully we'll hear more about Miles' observations, too.
The mysterious artificial object has apparently made a close pass by the Earth, coming in almost to the distance of the Moon's orbit, and is now headed away again into the interplanetary void. The object has used no propulsion during the time NASA has had it under observation. However the spacewatch boffins believe that it must have moved under its own power at some point, given its position and velocity.
Originally posted by tracehd1
...They say the next visit from this object will more then likely be in 2036. In Post 1's article they said it rotated around the sun every 1.04years... What am I missing there? If it circles the sun every 1.04years wouldn't it then still be visiting Earth so to speak?
And... they also say, " Likely to be a booster stage from an interplanetary mission...(Post 1 said Russian made...1974 launched) NOW DRIFTING back into Earth and out again. Drifting? Didn't they say that it appears this object has moved under it's own power??