NASA recently spotted two massive objects making their way toward Earth. The first object they know is a comet but they have yet to identify the second object. They comet will be streaking by sometime later this week, whereas the unidentified object will not pass this way until February. Scientists say neither object should pose a threat to life as we know it.
Scientists have made a video about the asteroid killer they are developing:
The object, dubbed “2016 WF9”, was detected by NASA’s asteroid- and comet-hunting NEOWISE project on 27 November 2016.
It is roughly 0.3 to 0.6 miles (0.5 to 1 kilometres) across and is in an orbit that takes it on a scenic tour of our solar system.
However, NASA scientists are not sure whether it is a comet or an asteroid .
“2016 WF9 could have cometary origins,” said Deputy Principal Investigator James “Gerbs” Bauer at NASA’s JPL.
“This object illustrates that the boundary between asteroids and comets is a blurry one; perhaps over time this object has lost the majority of the volatiles that linger on or just under its surface.”