The stage is set to view the spectacular space show in the Southern coast from Matara to Hambantota when the space object WT1190F (aka ‘Snoopy’) enters the earth’s atmosphere and splashes into the Southern seas today.
A team from the European Space Agency (ESA) has already arrived in Sri Lanka while the International Astronomical Centre had hired a special aircraft Gulfstream 450 to monitor the movement of the object.
The object which is speculated to be a rocket booster, aka ‘Snoopy’, from NASA’s Apollo 10 mission in 1969 is expected to splash into the sea somewhere between 10.50 am to 12.50 pm.
“It is said to be travelling at a speed of 11 km per second and the debris is expected create an impact on an area of 65 km around the area it is expected to fall,” Lecturer in Physics University of Colombo Consultant on Astronomy and Space Science Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies Dr Chandana Jayaratne said.
According to Marco Micheli, an astronomer at the ESA Space Situational Awareness-Near Earth Object Coordination Centre (SSA-NEOCC), the object is speculated to be the aka ‘Snoopy’, from NASA’s Apollo 10 mission in 1969.
It is forecasted to move from North West to South East and is expected to explode at an altitude of 80 km above sea level.
The team from ESA scientists will be assisted by a team from Ruhunu University, led by Subath Amaradasa, to observe and report the end of WT1109F’s journey.
Meanwhile Navy boats have been deployed and are patrolling in the area to act in an emergency. Fishing in the area is banned in the area while it had also been named a no fly zone. (Yohan Perera and Chaturanga Pradeep)