After researchers discovered a possible ‘mini-moon’ about the size of a car orbiting the earth, Tesla CEO Elon Musk quipped on Twitter saying ‘not mine’. Musk's witty reply was apparently in reference to the Tesla Roadster which was launched into space on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in February 2018.
It’s not mine— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2020
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. According to media reports, the roadster is currently through space at the speed of thousands of kilometres per hour.
Musk’s reply to the reports of ‘mini-moon’ came after a visiting asteroid known as 2020 CD3 was seen orbiting Earth. Kacper Wierzchos and Theodore Pruyne, researcher specialists for the Catalina Sky Survey, discovered the object orbiting the Earth. Astronomers believe the object to be a temporary one which, probably, would not last long and will disappear by Spring but what's even more surprising is the fact that it has been orbiting Earth for at least three years without being noticed.
The object was brought forth by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Minor Planet Center on Tuesday which also revealed that the asteroid was between 6.2 feet and 11.4 feet in diameter. An announcement on their website 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."
BIG NEWS (thread 1/3). Earth has a new temporarily captured object/Possible mini-moon called 2020 CD3. On the night of Feb. 15, my Catalina Sky Survey teammate Teddy Pruyne and I found a 20th magnitude object. Here are the discovery images. pic.twitter.com/zLkXyGAkZl— Kacper Wierzchos (@WierzchosKacper) February 26, 2020