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  • Writer's pictureZACH SELLINGER

Paying a Visit from the Cosmos

Looks like we’ve got company closing in at full speed! But where exactly is it coming from? Is it a plane full of people from another country? Is it a giant care package full of useful things? Not exactly. It’s zooming through outer space to our Earth! What exactly is that object, though? That’s the question.

Dubbed 2020 SO by astronomers, this mysterious object could be either an asteroid, a meteor, or even a comet. It’s said that it’ll pass within 32,500 miles of our Earth. That’s about 13% of the distance between us and the Moon, or about one and one thirds our planet’s circumference. If it’s a good enough distance from us, I sure hope the object is a comet. Why? Because ever since I first heard of Halley’s Comet flying by in the mid ‘80s, I’ve always wanted to see a comet before my own eyes. Wouldn’t that be an awesome sight to see?

The unfortunate thing is that since it’s going to pass by the Earth at 3:53 AM early next morning, I’ll be sound asleep, which means my only option is to go back online and research more about this mysterious object. That is if the scientists who discovered the object collected enough data within that timeframe.

You know what? Now that I think of it, the chances of the object being a comet are VERY slim. Scientists also determined that the object had made multiple flybys over the last few decades. Could it have been a rocket stage that deployed an interplanetary spacecraft? If so, it might have been one that went as far as Mars and entered a solar orbit whose path may have passed by Earth just like the prediction made recently.

I’m so glad I don’t have to overreact and scream, “OMG! The world is ending!” This mysterious object is nowhere near such a situation, so everything’s 100% normal. The only concern now is what the object really is. Will it be one of those natural satellites or a spent rocket stage? Find out next by dawn tomorrow.

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