A new mini-moon that is about the size of a cow and a hippopotamus has been temporarily captured by the Earth. The moon is an asteroid named 2020 CD3 with a diameter of 1.9-3.5 mm.
On Tuesday, the Minor Planet Centre of the International Astronomical Union discovered a new moon that is temporarily connected to Earth. The organization is responsible for the designation of minor bodies in the solar system.
On 15 February, astronomers Kacper Wierzchos and Theodore Prune, serving for the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, USA, first observed the asteroid.
In a tweet, Weirzchos described the discovery as “big news”…
“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,” he tweeted.
He further claimed that it was a big deal as this was only the second asteroid known to orbit Earth out of ~ 1 million known asteroids.
The first one was 2006 RH120, which was also found by the Catalina Sky Survey.
Owing to the Earth’s, the moon’s, and the sun’s gravity at the same time, the mini-moons are drawn into the Earth’s orbit, which causes irregular orbits.
The astronomer reported that about three years earlier the ‘mini-moon‘ had reached Earth’s orbit.
Meanwhile, from October 2020 until May 2021, the mini-moon is likely to remain around the World. The celestial body is expected to edge closer to us within this time, which will give us the opportunity to make more thorough observations and settle the question of its origin for good, reported metinfo.net…
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Source – Deccan Herald