WEIRD BUT TRUE
Skywatchers and stargazers might see something new among the stars, planets and galaxies.
Two NASA astronauts, Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara, were conducting the first all-female spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 2 when a tool bag slipped, according to Space.com.
Moghbeli and O’Hara finished their spacewalk after six hours and 42 minutes, NASA said. One of their main objectives was to do maintenance on the ISS, working on the station’s solar arrays which track the sun and generate electricity to power the station.
Thankfully, the tools weren’t needed for the rest of the tasks.
The tool bag is now “inadvertently lost,” the space agency said on its official blog, and flight controllers were able to spot the bag using external station cameras.
The surprisingly bright tool bag is orbiting our planet with a visual magnitude of around 6+, according to EarthSky — meaning that while it may not be able to be seen with the naked eye, curious skywatchers can pick it up with some binoculars.
EarthSky said that the tool bag will remain in orbit for a few months before disintegrating into the Earth’s atmosphere. Preliminary estimates show the bag entering the atmosphere around March 2024.
To see it for yourself, track the ISS over the next few months. The tool bad should be just two to four minutes ahead of the station, which you can track using NASA’s new “Spot the Station” mobile app.