I watched the new TV series, Supergirl, last night and though, so far, it’s light science fiction/fantasy it shows potential. If you were a fan of Smallville, and are into Arrow and Flash, you might enjoy this as well. However, it’s on CBS not CW, so I’m not sure the network will give it time to build a fan base. They are notorious, in my opinion, for pulling a series before giving it a chance for followers to put it in their record queue.
Remembering Smallville and the whole superhero genre, I recalled the scene when, as an infant, Superman falls from the sky in a spacecraft from his home planet.
On Friday the Thirteenth, according to a recent YouTube video: “The International Astronomical Center (IAC) and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency hosted a team of veteran U.S. and German observers of spacecraft re-entries to study the re-entry of an approximately 1-meter (3.2-feet) piece of space debris near Sri Lanka.”
NASA calls it space junk—mysterious space junk—but junk all the same. Of course would we be told the truth if it were something other than space junk? See what you think.
The junk was dubbed WT1190F. Here is a high resolution, slow motion YouTube of the space junk—aka WTFrak.
The European Space Agency’s Near Earth Object Coordination Centre (NEOCC)—whew, that’s a mouthful—has been monitoring the WTFrak since its discovery by the Catalina Sky Survey. It’s been orbiting the Earth on an elliptical path for years.
Best guesses as to what it is were offered by Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. He told Nature that it could be a spent rocket stage, a paneling shed from a recent moon mission, or even a piece of debris dating back to the Apollo missions.
The ESA’s NEOCC refers to WT1190F as a valuable opportunity for scientists. They explained:
“First, the object is interesting to better understand the re-entry of satellites and debris from high orbits. Second, it provides us with an ideal opportunity to test our readiness for any possible future events involving an asteroid, since the components of this scenario, from discovery to impact, are all very similar.”
According to Nature:
“WT1190F is a rare breed of space object. Researchers are currently tracking only 20 or so artificial objects in distant orbits, says Gareth Williams, an astronomer at the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are probably many more such pieces of space junk in orbit around the Earth–Moon system, but it is impossible to say how many. No others are known to have made the return trip to Earth, although it is likely that some have done so without anyone noticing, McDowell says.”
I’m so thinking it’s extraterrestrial. How about you? I loved to hear what you think it could be. Space junk or ETs? Makes a person imagine all kinds of things, like an alien pod with a superhero inside. And we all know we need a hero.
The Probe’s Mission Statement
The Probe is a blog devoted to the exploration of the unexplainable, to finding the truth in occurrences that resemble science fiction, and to researching and reporting on topics that could be flung upon the wall of weird. New posts are featured every week.
Posting early this week. Sorry for any confusion. I lecture at Texas Tech University tomorrow—Go Red Raiders and Dr. Crews for inviting me. Students were assigned to read Novella 1 of The Creep Mesquite Anthology, Wyso and the Other Creepy Kids on Gerard Street. Should be a fun class. Anyway, my up coming road trip dictates I get this posted today. Hope to see you back here next Tuesday just in time for Turkey Day.
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