Two large pieces of space debris are on a collision course planned to result in an impact tonight, according to space mapping company LeoLabs. The shock is projected to happen 991 km from the south Atlantic Ocean, close to the Antarctic coast.
According to LeoLabs, the chance of objects colliding is greater than 10%, a number considered high given the combined mass of the rubble: 2.8 tons. Even more worrying: the two blocks of space debris travel at a relative speed of over 52,000 km / h.
“This event remains a very high-risk event and will probably continue to do so over the course of the approach of the masses,” LeoLabs posted on Twitter yesterday. Still on Twitter, astronomer and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics identified the objects as the remains of a Soviet navigation satellite called Parus and a Chinese rocket component.
LeoLabs monitors the movement and the occurrence of the impact, scheduled to happen (or not) at 9:56 pm tonight. If there is indeed a crash between the objects, the increase in space debris in the Earth’s low orbit will be 10%.