Some space garbage is headed straight for us — but chances are pretty good that no one on Earth will even notice its impact. That is, except for the scientists who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the cosmic rubbish.
Nature News reports that the object, officially known as WT1190F, will arrive on Nov. 13. It's about 3 to 6 feet long, and probably hollow, which means it's almost definitely man-made. Don't fret: It's coming down over the Indian Ocean, about 65 miles off the southern tip of Sri Lanka. So even if any significant fragments remain after the object passes through the atmosphere, they're unlikely to hurt anyone. Let's just hope they don't ruin a whale's day.
WT1190F — which is probably a piece of discarded rocket body — was a "lost" piece of space debris, meaning that it wasn't on anyone's radar until it was spotted falling toward Earth. It's unusual for scientists to be able to accurately predict the incoming path of such debris because not much effort goes into following the garbage we've left in space. So people are excited to study it as it comes down.
The piece of junk could actually be a really cool historical artifact. It could even be part of one of the rockets used in the Apollo program. If we're lucky, we might get to find out what spacecraft it came from. But I guess we should just be grateful for the fact that space junk hardly ever makes it down to Earth, and that this particular piece of litter is unlikely to harm anyone.