[UPDATE: 11/12/15 4:28 PM ET]
Slooh members have been imaging WT1190F in an effort to help pinpoint where the debris will crash down. Below, you can see an animation of the debris captured by Slooh Astronomer Member Tony Evans.
[ORIGINAL POST BELOW]
An object of unknown origin is on a collision course with Earth, set to crash land on Friday the 13th in November, but while a crash landing of any kind would normally be seen as bad news, this one might just mean good luck for scientists hoping to learn more about these objects interact with our atmosphere.
The object in question is a mysterious piece of space debris, appropriately named WT1190F – or WTF – which is expected to crash about 100km off the coast of Sri Lanka on the unlucky day. While there is no way to know exactly what the object is, scientists at the European Space Agency believe it is a piece of a rocket body coming back to Earth.
ESA has been tracking the orbit of this particular object ever since it became apparent that it would be falling into the atmosphere. It had originally been orbiting the Earth from our beyond the moon, when that orbit degraded. The crash landing actually offers scientists a chance to study the way our atmosphere interacts with objects upon re-entry. Much of the object will actually burn up in the atmosphere.
The crash landing comes just two weeks after the near-miss of asteroid PHA 2015 TB145, or “Spooky” which is set to swing by the planet from just beyond the Moon on Halloween.
Slooh will host a live broadcast covering the event. Stay tuned for more updates over the coming weeks.