There's something out there
September 13, 2002 9:52 PM   Subscribe

There's something out there
Target Body: J002E3 Spacecraft (UNCONFIRMED)
Observer Location: Los Angeles, CA
Coordinates: 118°14'27.6''W, 34°03'15.1''N

Since September 5th, the Minor Planet Mailing List (MPML) has been abuzz with speculation about an unidentified 16th- magnitude object. During the next 10 days the object will be moving rapidly across Aries and then Taurus, passing between the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters.
posted by riley370 (29 comments total)

 
I, for one, WELCOME our new insect overlords.
posted by Espoo2 at 10:13 PM on September 13, 2002


See also... So, if the MPML is abuzz, what are they buzzing about? An archive of the list is here, but "the requested resource is currently in use." Too much buzz?

And what's a minor planet anyways? Like Mercury? Or like Planet X?
posted by rschram at 10:17 PM on September 13, 2002


E.T. came back.
*sobs*
posted by ginz at 10:18 PM on September 13, 2002


and...I'd like to remind them that as a trusted internet personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to... toil in their underground sugar caves.
posted by riley370 at 10:18 PM on September 13, 2002


Man...good thing I've got a board with a nail in it.
posted by JaxJaggywires at 10:24 PM on September 13, 2002


Oh wow.
This is a great NASA link. Shows all satelites currently in orbit of the earth, in rotatable 3d.
posted by Espoo2 at 10:25 PM on September 13, 2002


That is a great link Espoo2!
posted by MaddCutty at 10:31 PM on September 13, 2002


BBC's saying it's a piece of known space junk - probably from a Saturn V.
posted by zadcat at 10:37 PM on September 13, 2002


Let's hope that we are not alone!

(great link, btw)
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:37 PM on September 13, 2002


Heh. I guess its appropriate that this is post #20001 - A.C. Clarke on overdrive.
posted by vacapinta at 10:49 PM on September 13, 2002


Time to get out the Nikes and the pudding!

Uh, nah. Never mind.

*throws away Snack Pack*
posted by swell at 10:56 PM on September 13, 2002


i was hoping it was rama.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:31 PM on September 13, 2002


Norton tells me "Vulture" link above is infected with an html version of the crowd pleasing Nimda virus.

Don't click on it. If you did, get an antivirus program and disinfect yourself.

Furthermore, a "readme.eml" file on that website has a bug in it, as well.

Jeez.
posted by KiloHeavy at 12:03 AM on September 14, 2002


W32/Nimda.gen@MM virus
posted by ginz at 12:07 AM on September 14, 2002


Good thing I didn't click on it. My Macaffee's out of date and I'd have to pay yet again to get it updated. Bastards.

Clearly by now it's obvious, any claim of Unidentified Flying Objects in the terrestrial sky must be a hoax by definition, because it's been scientifically proven that life on this planet is so backwater and violent that no intelligent life offworld would set foot on this God forsaken clump of dirt.

We may not be alone, but we might as well be.

Although one can hope that it's an alien invasion force cuz the only thing that's gonna keep us from killing each other is finding a bigger target at which all human beings can throw their rocks.

"But the big question is, if it is really in Earth orbit, why has it not been detected before?"

Cuz it's a big fucking sky. That's why.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:19 AM on September 14, 2002


...in rotatable 3d.

Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice...!
posted by Witty at 12:27 AM on September 14, 2002


I like to watch.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:51 AM on September 14, 2002


rscharm: Indeed, a Minor Planet is anything smaller than the existing nine planets -- that isn't a moon:

any astronomical object within the solar system which is not the Sun or any planet or planet's moon. These bodies can be at any distance to the Sun from vaporization on the Sun's surface to the outer edge of the Oort cloud at ~70,000 AU.

The object called Pluto may or may not fit, depending on your beliefs on the subject.


For a long time this was pretty much the asteroid belt (ho-hum), but recent activity has been astonishing in several areas: Near-Earth Objects (which might hit us, or which we can visit); Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs, or Kuiper Belt asteroids); and Trojans.

And I have to agree with prior complaints: The damned "new overlords" jokes are coming almost daily. It's a good joke; don't wear it out.

As for this space junk: It's actually very interesting that it is, and it's even more interesting that it seems to have recently been recaptured by the Earth out of a very long solar orbit. It would be great if one day we could go out and check on it; orbiting us makes that easier, although it also puts it in danger of hitting the Moon or even us if its orbit doesn't stabilize.
posted by dhartung at 1:06 AM on September 14, 2002


Clearly by now it's obvious, any claim of Unidentified Flying Objects in the terrestrial sky must be a hoax by definition, because it's been scientifically proven that life on this planet is so backwater and violent that no intelligent life offworld would set foot on this God forsaken clump of dirt.


I've always liked the hypothesis that we're an interstellar no-fly zone, where the grad students of the Galactic Republic can study pre-interstellar cultures. It would also explain the UFO sightings-the profs go back to Betelgese for the holidays, and the grad students left behind get drunk and buzz the locals for entertainment...
posted by ehintz at 1:11 AM on September 14, 2002


At best, Ehintz, we're a galactic joke. How ironically fitting.

Screw it. I'm going to bed.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:12 AM on September 14, 2002


Speak for yourself Zachariah.

{Wink}
posted by Witty at 1:38 AM on September 14, 2002


Can someone explain the meme 'I, for one, WELCOME our new insect overlords.' I don't know this one.
posted by internook at 6:42 AM on September 14, 2002


From "Deep Space Homer", the best Simpsons episode ever. The character Kent Brockman is reporting on Homer releasing ants into the spacecraft.
posted by riley370 at 7:25 AM on September 14, 2002


This is a great NASA link. Shows all satellites currently in orbit of the earth, in rotatable 3d.

Wow! Put up a few more geosynchronous satellites, and Earth may qualify as the 3rd ringed planet.

Great, great link.

-phil
posted by saturn5 at 10:56 AM on September 14, 2002


Here's a bit from JPL that includes some interesting GIF animations of capturing the object in Earth orbit. They also believe it to be a spent stage of the Apollo 12 Saturn rocket.
posted by brism at 1:36 PM on September 14, 2002



posted by quonsar at 3:06 PM on September 14, 2002


INTERNOOK:

Kent Brockman reports on Channel Six.

Kent: We're just about to get our first pictures from inside the spacecraft with "average-naut" Homer Simpson, and we'd like to -- aah!

[Camera shows a close-up of an ant floating in front of the three astronauts]

Everyone: Aah!

Kent: Ladies and gentlemen, er, we've just lost the picture, but, uh, what we've seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has been taken over -- "conquered", if you will -- by a master race of giant space ants. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive earth men or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain, there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
posted by sharksandwich at 3:45 PM on September 14, 2002


Following the Simpsons reference, did anyone ever see the episode of Futurama when the ball of garbage (sent from Earth) was sent into space in the 21st century only to come back to Earth on a crash course in the year 3000?
har-dee-har-har
posted by lsd4all at 9:18 PM on September 15, 2002


Espoo2: This is a great NASA link...

Neat stuff. I love that you can click on each dot and get the satellite's name as well as it's orbital trajectory around the earth.
posted by Skygazer at 11:40 PM on September 15, 2002


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