On November 13, Earth will be hit with a genuine UFO. Now, before you get too excited, no, it’s not the kind manned by extraterrestrials, but at least its collision isn’t expected to cause massive amounts of damage to our planet when it happens. Whew. This Unidentified flying Object has been dubbed WTF1190F, and the European Space Agency (ESA) have been carefully tracking its path.
WTF1190F—no relation to Marc Maron—is expected to make landfall on November 13 about 40 miles off the southern tip of Sri Lanka at 6:20 UTC (four hours ahead EST). Scientists first started mapping its trajectory in 2012.
Here’s what we (kind of) know: It could be as long as seven feet. That’s about it. Some of the popular theories say WTF1190F is some space debris from a recent lunar mission, or debris from historic missions dating back to the more than forty years. Here’s some footage of it in action (it’s the little spot that moves the most in a horizontal line).
Given how much science fiction has reveled in the possibility of doomsday-bringing space objects hitting this lovely rock we call home, scientists are pretty chill about this one. On the one hand, it’s pretty cool—this is the first chance we’ve had to use our advanced monitoring tools and techniques to study the approach and impact of a small object from outer space. On the other hand, maybe it will hit our atmosphere and burn up before it makes land(water)fall, like the comet that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Will you be following this story through the landing? Tell me what you’re hoping to learn in the comments below.
IMAGES: Comet Ison seen through a NASA telescope. Credit Aaron Kingery/Nasa/EPA; The Daily Mail; ESA