|2016 WF9 (artist rendition) photo: wikipedia An artist’s rendition of 2016 WF9 as it passes Jupiter’s orbit inbound toward the sun. JPL manages NEOWISE for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. The Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah, built the science instrument. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado, built the spacecraft. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/wise, http://wise.astro.ucla.edu and http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/wise|
The object was named WF9 2016 was observed in NEOWISE project of NASA, on November 27, 2016. Researchers say it may have at least one kilometers wide. Most will approach Earth on February 25, reaching a distance of 51 million kilometers.
|Orbit of 2016 WF9 on 25 February 2017, closest approach to Earth photo: wikipedia|
The object caused confusion among researchers at NASA, because they do not know whether it is an asteroid or a comet. In general, asteroids are more rocky and metallic, while comets have ice in their composition, their notes IFL Science.
,, 2016 WF9 could be a comet. This article illustrates that the boundary between asteroid and comet is very small, '' James Bauer supports NASA.
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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by IFL Science . Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.