Earth Gets New 'mini-moon'; Netizens Say 'space Is Mindblowing'

Science

A visiting asteroid known as 2020 CD3 was seen orbiting Earth and is being referred to as 'mini-moon'. It is only the second asteroid ever known to orbit Earth.

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:
'Mini-Moon': Earth's temporary new buddy visits the skies temporarily

A visiting asteroid known as 2020 CD3 was seen orbiting Earth and is being referred to as 'mini-moon'. 2020 CD3 is only the second asteroid ever known to orbit Earth, out of 1 million other asteroids. Researcher specialists for the Catalina Sky Survey - Kacper Wierzchos and Theodore Pruyne discovered the object. 

2020 CD3's been there for three years

On locating the asteroid orbiting Earth, it was named 2020 CD3 but was deemed a temporary one which, probably, would not last long. Astronomers believe that the newly discovered mini-moon will be gone by Spring and what's even more surprising is the fact that it has been orbiting Earth for at least three years without being noticed.

Astronomer Kacper Wierzchos tweeted a video showing the mini-moon. In another tweet he mentioned, "The object has a diameter between 1.9 - 3.5 m assuming a C-type asteroid albedo. But it's a big deal as out of ~ 1 million known asteroids, this is just the second asteroid known to orbit Earth (after 2006 RH120, which was also discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey)."

The project was reportedly carried out at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tuscon, Arizona. As specialists at Catalina aid in NASA's discovery in tracking hazardous objects near Earth, the survey was funded by NASA and supported by the Near-Earth Object Observation Program.

Read: Astronomers Discover Mini-moon In Earth Orbit

Read: 'You Just Proved Earth Is Flat': Netizens Amused As NASA Responds To #BroomChallenge

The object was brought forth by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Minor Planet Center on Tuesday who also revealed that the asteroid was between 6.2 feet and 11.4 feet in diameter. An announcement on their site read, "Orbit integrations indicate that this object is temporarily bound to the Earth.  No evidence of perturbations due to solar radiation pressure is seen, and no link to a known artificial object has been found." 

The Catalina Sky Survey had discovered asteroid 2006 RH120, the first known asteroid to orbit Earth, in September 2006. Scientists had believed it to be an artificial, temporarily captured object due to the similarity between its orbit and rocket boosters of the Apollo-era. 

The object is also being called as the Earth's 'girlfriend' by some netizens and the Earth's 'baby' by others. The new discovery has created a whirlwind of exhilaration and happiness all over the world.

Read: 'You Just Proved Earth Is Flat': Netizens Amused As NASA Responds To #BroomChallenge

Read: Japan Eyes Orbiter-rover Mission To Martian Moons Phobos & Deimos; Will Return By 2030

 

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