Last Thursday NASA announced that two massive space objects are heading towards Earth; one may be a comet and the other is still not clear, it might be an asteroid. It is possible that we might be seeing this event as early as this week.
However, the mystery object is not expected to make an appearance until February.
The object has been named “2016 WF9” and was detected by NASA’s asteroid and comet hunting NEOWISE project on November 27, 2016. The object is 0.3 to 0.6 miles across and has been traveling across the solar system.
It has been traveling around 4.9 Earth-years, passing under the main asteroid belt and then Earth’s own orbit. It is expected to head back towards the outer solar system. However, NASA is unclear whether it is a comet or an asteroid.
“2016 WF9 could have cometary origins. 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.” Says Deputy Principal Investigator James “Gerbs” Bauer