NASA expert identifies mysterious extraterrestrial object as old Centaur rocket booster

Earth may get a new “mini-moon” soon.

But it’s probably just an old rocket booster from 1966.

The mysterious extraterrestrial object once called “asteroid 2020 SO” now appears to be an old rocket from a failed moon-landing mission 54 years ago, according to NASA’s leading asteroid expert Paul Chodas.

The “asteroid” was on track to get nabbed by Earth’s gravitational pull and become a small moon next month.

The formerly known asteroid may actually be the Centaur upper-rocket stage that successfully propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 lander to the moon in 1966. According to NASA, the lander ended up colliding into the moon after one of its thrusters failed to ignite.


Last month, this mysterious object was detected by a telescope in Hawaii, according to Space.com’s Meghan Bartels. The object is roughly estimated to be 26 feet based on its brightness—near the length of the old Centaur, which now would be

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NASA expert identifies mystery object once thought an asteroid

The jig may be up for an “asteroid” that’s expected to get nabbed by Earth’s gravity and become a mini moon next month. Instead of a cosmic rock, the newly discovered object appears to be an old rocket from a failed moon-landing mission 54 years ago that’s finally making its way back home, according to NASA’s leading asteroid expert. Observations should help nail its identity.

“I’m pretty jazzed about this,” Paul Chodas told The Associated Press. “It’s been a hobby of mine to find one of these and draw such a link, and I’ve been doing it for decades now.”

Chodas speculates that asteroid 2020 SO, as it is formally known, is actually the Centaur upper rocket stage that successfully propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 lander to the moon in 1966 before it was discarded. The lander ended up crashing into the moon after one of its thrusters failed to ignite

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Fake asteroid? NASA expert IDs mystery object as old rocket

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This Sept. 20, 1966 photo provided by the San Diego Air and Space Museum shows an Atlas Centaur 7 rocket on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA’s leading asteroid expert, Paul Chodas, speculates that asteroid 2020 SO, as it is formally known, is actually a Centaur upper rocket stage that propelled NASA’s Surveyor 2 lander to the moon in 1966 before it was discarded.

AP

The jig may be up for an “asteroid” that’s expected to get nabbed by Earth’s gravity and become a mini moon next month.

Instead of a cosmic rock, the newly discovered object appears to be an old rocket from a failed moon-landing mission 54 years ago that’s finally making its way back home, according to NASA’s leading asteroid expert. Observations should help nail its identity.

“I’m pretty jazzed about this,” Paul Chodas told The Associated Press. “It’s been a hobby of

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Scientists utilized citizen science network to observe the object — ScienceDaily

A new study authored by Southwest Research Institute scientists Rodrigo Leiva and Marc Buie reveals the binary nature of a trans-Neptunian object (TNO). Leiva and Buie utilized data obtained by the Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network (RECON), a citizen science research net-work dedicated to observing the outer solar system. The study was published this month in The Astrophysical Journal.

Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) are small icy bodies that orbit the Sun beyond Neptune. Binary TNOs occur when two of these objects orbit each other while together or-biting the Sun. Leiva and Buie discovered two objects in a particularly close gravitational configuration. The pair was detected using a stellar occultation, which occurs when an object passes between Earth and a distant star which hides, or “occults,” the star from view. Observers located in the path of the object’s shadow can record the star blinking out and reappearing. The length of time

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Object Management Group Request for Proposal, Interface Definition Language

The Object Management Group (OMG), an international technology standards organization, announced its request for proposal (RFP) an Interface Definition Language v4 (IDL4) to C++ Language Mapping specification.

The language mapping specification will provide data distribution service (DDS) and CORBA users with interoperable API for C++ programming language.

“The existing IDL to C++ language mappings are currently being exercised by thousands of DDS- and CORBA-based systems,” said RFP author & principal software engineer at RTI Fernando Garcia Aranda, in a press release. “As new systems adopt OMG IDL, it is important to keep our standard mappings current so new and existing systems can benefit from the new additions to the language.

“With this RFP, we define an updated set of IDL to C++ mappings that make use of the new features of the most recent versions of the OMG IDL to the fullest extent.”

The latest version of the OMG IDL

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