There is an object in space closing in on Earth, and we don’t know what it is. It has been named 2020 SO, and will pass by us at a distance of 31,605 miles at 3:50 AM (EST) on December 1st, 2020.
The Pan-STARRS survey in Hawaii discovered the object back in September. Initially it was thought to be an asteroid that was 15-33 feet across, but that isn’t the case. Scientists now think that the object originated from Earth, and still have no idea what it is.
Paul Chodas, CNEOS (NASA’s Near-Earth Object [NEO]) director, says he believes the object could be the Centaur rocket booster from NASA’s failed Surveyor 2 lunar mission. The failed mission launched 54 years ago on September 20, 1966.
NASA will be watching this unidentified mass as it passes Earth Tuesday morning. We’ll know better then what it is and why it has been so difficult to identify.