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back to article Approaching space object 'artificial, not asteroid' says NASA

NASA boffins report that an unknown object approaching the Earth from deep space is almost certainly artificial in origin rather than being an asteroid. NASA JPL graphic depicting the 2010 visit of object 2010 KQ. Not actually an asteroid, according to NASA, but artificial. Object 2010 KQ was detected by the Catalina Sky …

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Rob
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Alert

3..2...1.....

.....and que the internet nutjobs.... action!

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Indeed

I'm sure we've had the 1st of April already this year.

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Alien

interesting

Wonder if that dinky space plane thing they sent up the other day just happens to have a camera on it or a big gun just in case.. or maybe some cryogenic virgins ready to be handed over to a Galactic emperor.

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M7S
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Now I like a good panic from time to time - in others

Why can't they tell us something artificial is COMING, which would let us all (well most reg readers) have wonderful fun watching the more nutty "end of the world cults", particularly after Xenu & Friends fail to actually do anything observable.

And should it actually (the impact that is, not the nuttiness) prove a little fatal for some, then at least we were warned. One might almost suspect a conspiracy of silence.

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Alien

Someone had to say it :-)

The truth is out there!

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Rendezvous with Rama

That article sent a shiver as I was reading it.

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Ditto

Shame the third book was so rubbish though.

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Alien

2nd

The second was kind of weak too.

One of the best parts of the first book was how Rama ignored Humanity.

As much as I have loved Clarke's books his later works and collaborations really didn't have the impact for me his earlier works did.

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Anonymous Coward

@2nd

That's because Gentry Lee is a crap writer.

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2nd was tolerable

The first sequel was okay for me. It retained and even augmented some of the original's sense of mystery.

The third was just crap though. Should have been renamed 'Big Brother in Space'.

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Didn't find them bad

Actually enjoyed reading them all. Though frankly it went way to metaphysical for me at the end.

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Welcome

you tease Page....

I thought you'd fallen for some internet hoax. I think it was "deep space" that did it: somehow in my mind that meant interstellar... I'm half suprised they haven't figured out what its from - there can't be that many artificial objects in Solar orbit can there?You'd think that identification by a process of elimination wouldnt be, well, rock... Oh yes, maybe it is...

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It's a Quagaar in his cryopod!

Oh, wait, it's a Smegging garbage pod...

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EC1
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It didn't land

So there must have been intelligent life aboard.

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Coat

Rama!

Oh $DEITY, I just hope there's not another run of bad novels coming out of this...

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$DEITY

Excellent use of a variable there. I shall promptly nick it but credit it, of course.

$EXPLETIVE?

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$COMPLIMENT

I'll second that.

Brilliant!

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Joke

$TITLE

$POST

:)

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Alien

Space Junk?

"However the spacewatch boffins believe that it must have moved under its own power at some point"

But if it's space junk how can this be?

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Joke

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

>> "However the spacewatch boffins believe that it must have moved under its own power at some point"

> But if it's space junk how can this be?

How do you think it got up there in the first place?

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One man's junk

Just because it's junk _now_, doesn't mean it was always so.

They just meant that it couldn't have gotten into the orbit it currently has through solely gravitational means.

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One word

Trabant

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Anonymous Coward

not big enough?

Have you never seen Men In Black? 10m is big enough for several dozen whole galaxy clusters to fit inside (not the choccie bar...although now I want one)

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Alert

Too small!

Have you seen Independence Day?! A tiny ship crashed in Roswell, 50 years later a slipping big mothership comes along!

Mark my words this is the end as we know it!!

Stuff it, I'm off down the pub, you need beer to cushion your system during the jump into hyperspace!

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Bronze badge
Go

@ The Fuzzy Woznot...

Don't forget your towel and a packet of peanuts either.

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Unhappy

Not hyperspace

The beer and peanuts were for the matter transference beam that got them onto the Vogon Construction ship.

"... is green, yes."

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Joke

2036!

The epochalypse!

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I for one welcome...

...aah you know the rest.

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Boffin

Scale?

"and one would not expect a [naturally occurring] object to remain in this type of orbit for very long,"

What scale of Long is he using here? a few weeks, years, decades, millenia?

Would be interesting to check the spectral characteristics against other launch vehicles or back track past orbits to correlate to a launch... curious now...

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Surely...

Surely we have the tech to either get a good look at it as it passes or as the image suggests we had months of warning...send someone up to take a look as it goes by?

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Black Helicopters

Didn't NASA recently test...

... a small space shuttle that the Russians think is some space fighter thing..

Coincidence?

Anon so the black helicopters have to raid Vulture Towers to find out who I am!

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Alien

Booster Stage?

How many space missions have jettisoned "booster stages" in free space, outside the gravity well of a planet or moon?

I for one, etc ....

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Bod

Moon shots, Venus & Mars probes, etc

Noting I'm no expert or orbital physics, but the stage just to do the thrust from earth orbit to the Moon back when the Russians and Americans were firing rockets at it, would have been going some and perhaps enough to sling into a long orbit. More so with the early probes sent to Venus & Mars. There's a load of stuff obviously sent much further out, but don't know if they used stages like this.

Not that this is outside the gravity of the Earth or Moon as it's clearly orbiting, just on an elliptical path.

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Black Helicopters

what about the mice

you know the ones who built that super computer. 10m would be nice for a mice mothersip! I welcome our furry and whiskered overlords!

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Welcome

@karl 15 Space Junk?

It depends how much power they meant - it could have been a stage which continued to burn after seperation, or even gas venting at a later date which would provide thrust. Maybe they are just trying to make you paranoid. The context really isn't very clear, but that is likely the case with any sentence using the term "boffins".

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When was the date..

Of closest passing?...

And did any strange people events start walking the earth?

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Miscalculation of scale

See The Hitchhikers Guide...

The G'Gugvuntt and Vl'hurg fleet, due to a terrible miscalculation of scale ended up being swallowed by a small dog.

Otherwise it's probably Rama

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Paris Hilton

Could be worse..

Could be Xenu...

Paris, even she's not as gullible as Tom Cruise

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last passed us in 1975.

From the MPML group..

"It was given the asteroid designation 2010

KQ by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge Massachusetts, who identified

its orbit as being very similar to that of the Earth. Orbit refinements

by JPL's Paul Chodas and amateur astronomer Bill Gray have shown that

this object was very close to the Earth in early 1975, but the

trajectory is not known with enough accuracy to associate the object

with any particular launch"

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Nothing sadly about it.

"sadly not an alien visitor"

The remote peoples we Europeans visited over the centuries - the native Americans, the Africans, the Malays, all the aborigines of the world.... not to mention all the other native species on the other four continents... would really have preferred we hadn't bothered.

Be careful what you wish for, dudes.

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Alien

Yeah!

Not to mention those blue guys with their wacky jungle planet chock full of unobtanium. The orbital bombardment and subsequent viral depopulation so seldom reported has really tarnished our reputation in the galaxy.

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Linux

InterStellar Politics???

Passage during the month of May!!!!!

Cleggons????

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Alien

Not the first time, HOPEFULLY won't be the last

Article from 2002 about Apollo 12 (from 1969) booster in orbit after 30+ years. T

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2790-orbit-shows-second-moon-may-be-apollo-junk.html

Pretty spirograph-esque animation of Apollo 12's orbit:

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/j002e3/j002e3.mpg

Apollo Boosters were also sent into orbits that would cause them to hit the moon, a couple of them missed. Any other launch vehicle booster could still be out there from one of the many satellite launches we've had in the last 50 years.

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Coat

Atlantis ?

Didn't Atlantis just return from space?

Isn't it tradition that such vessels are "diverted to investigate" when something new is discovered?

Well, at least in the movies .....

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Alien

Xenomorphs

Just as long as the junk hasn't been anywhere near LV-426...

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i for one

i for one, would just like to take this opportinity to welcome our new, diminutive alien overlords.

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Anonymous Coward

Especially the gorgeous ones

Perhaps it'll be Anna from `V'?

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Re: Especially the gorgeous ones

I really hope Anna isn't who you meant when you referenced the new incarnation of V, I figured they chose her to play the role because she really does look like a lizard!

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Bronze badge

Apollo 10's S-IVB?

Stop me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the Apollo 10 S-IVB (Saturn V third stage) injected into heliocentric orbit after it finished the TLI burn?

I know some of the S-IVBs were targeted for lunar impact after completing TLI -- some, to test out the seismic sensing experiments left on the surface -- but I know a few of them were injected into heliocentric orbit to avoid collisions with the CSM/LM (outbound coast) and CSM (inbound coast).

I'm only wondering because of the reports a few years ago of an approaching NEO that turned out to be the Apollo 12 S-IVB.

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Black Helicopters

Stealth ship

Everyone knows a stealth bomber has a radar return about the size of a sparrow, albeit a sparrow cruising at 600mph. So something 10m in size could be, by Zoolander calculation, at least... 3 times as big. And that's using 1980s human-tech. (Stealth is human-tech isnt it?)

This £100 billion or so that has supposedly disappeared must have gone somewhere - my guess is it is the UK contribution to the squadrons of Orion-class Earthforce battleships being constructed on the dark side of the moon. We are providing the wallnut burr dashboards (spaceships are so expensive it is a false economy to leave them looking cheap). Not sure why the Greeks have to contribute so much - guess it has something to do with their gods really being aliens, as is well documented in sci-fi, which proves it.

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