Mysterious object scientists discovered was hurtling toward Earth in September came in close contact with the planet earlier this week. NASA determined 2020 SO to be an upper stage rocket booster from NASA’s 1966 Surveyor 2.
“Due to extreme faintness of this object following CNEOS prediction it was a challenging object to characterize,” said Vichnu Reddy, a planetary scientist at Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona.
“We got color observations with the Large Binocular Telescope or LBT that suggested 2020 SO was not an asteroid.”
On Tuesday, the object came within Earth’s sphere of gravitational pull until it makes its way back into a new orbit around the Sun come March 2021.