New mini-moon discovered orbiting Earth in 22 hours

New mini-moon discovered orbiting Earth in 22 hours

New mini-moon discovered orbiting Earth in 22 hours

While it's gravitationally bound to Earth right now, it's subject to gravitational nudges from Earth, the Moon and even the Sun, which will soon knock the little rock free of orbit to drift off into space once again. Apparently, these astronomers were holding off a bit in speaking openly about the object until the MPEC was published, but now they are. It is not known what the object is made of but NASA officials had ruled out claims it was "artificial" or "man-made".

The worldwide Gemini Observatory/NSF's National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory/AURA/G.

This is not the first asteroid to be captured by Earth, as Wierzchos points it. He is an astronomer at the University of Arizona-funded Catalina Sky Survey.

"These events are really rare", said Wierzchos, and astronomer at Cataline Sky Survey in Tucson.

2005 RH120 is the only other captured asteroid to orbit Earth, that we know of. The discovery was made on February 15. The previous one, 2006 RH120, was also discovered by the CSS and orbited the Earth for 18 months during 2006 and 2007, as noted by the scientific writer Corey S. Powell.

However, the new "Moon" of the Earth may not be suitable for manned landing, several meters wide and in the future.

Based on its observations of 2020 CD3, the MPC says "no link to a known artificial object has been found". The same object was then observed by researchers at six more observatories around the world who confirmed the presence of what can now be considered a minimoon.

In the nights after the discovery, Wierzchos and his collaborators kept following the object to try to determine its orbit.

CNET reports that Catalina Sky Survey astronomers in Tuscon, AZ has its eyes on an asteroid hanging out in Earth's gravity.

Tesla CEO had shared the image of the Tesla Roadster with the earth in the background and the $100,000 convertible is still moving around our solar system in an elliptical path around the sun. In fact, this is only the second time we have been able to spot a minimoon. 2020 CD3 is between 1.9 and 3.5 miles in diameter and has been in Earth's orbit for around three years.

Well, barring one instance, we haven't seen these other objects.

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