This time, humans’ space junk is threatening the moon. After spending seven years wandering through space, a SpaceX rocket Is about to collide with the moon, the Guardian said.
On a million-mile journey, this rocket was launched in 2015 from Florida to send a space weather satellite.
How and when the collide is going to happen?
After sending the NOAA satellite to start its journey as a Deep Space Climate Observatory to LaGrange point, a second-stage rocket ran out of fuel. So they couldn’t control it anymore to direct it into Earth’s atmosphere to burn. In addition to the lack of energy that prevents it from escaping the gravity which pulls off Earth and the Moon.
That space junk, which weighs four metric tonnes, is on its way to intersect with the moon at the speed of 2.58km/s in a matter of weeks.
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According to Bill Gray, who writes software to track near-Earth objects, the collision between Falcon 9’s upper stage and the far side of the moon, will likely happen on 4 March near the equator.
The object “made a close lunar flyby on January 5.” But will make “a certain impact at March 4,” Gray said.
For those asking: yes, an old Falcon 9 second stage left in high orbit in 2015 is going to hit the moon on March 4. It's interesting, but not a big deal.
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) January 25, 2022
Because of the unpredictable effect of sunlight, which could push the rocket, plus the “ambiguity in measuring rotation periods”, it is still unclear where the SpaceX rocket will hit exactly.
“These unpredictable effects are very small. But they will accumulate between now and March 4,” Gray wrote.
If you wondering whether we can see the collision from Earth, the answer is no. According to Gray, it will probably be unobserved.
“The bulk of the moon is in the way. And even if it was on the near side, the impact occurs a couple of days after New Moon,” he said.