General, Research, Technology

The Earth has a new moon, but you are unlikely to notice it

About three years ago, an object namedastronomers 2020 CD3, was an ordinary asteroid roaming the vast expanses of the universe. Having seized the Earth’s gravity network, the stone from carbon rock turned into an Earth satellite, which, due to its size, is now considered to be our “miniloon”. The discovery of the tiny moon was announced by astronomers from the Catalina Sky Survey, who on the night of February 15, 2020 observed the movement of a stone near the orbit of our planet.

A new satellite discovered in Earth orbit

New Earth Satellite

A small stone piece whose sizes fluctuatebetween 1.9 and 3.5 meters in diameter, is just one of the millions of asteroids that sweep annually around our planet. About 3 years ago, a fragment of fate ended up in the immediate vicinity of our planet, but instead of crashing into the Earth, the asteroid chose a different fate, becoming one of the temporary moons of the blue planet, sciencealert.com reports.

As of February 27, near the near-Earththere are 22 211 asteroids of different sizes in space, but due to the fact that they are all small, they can only be seen with relatively large telescopes. You might think that with a low mass of stones flying around the Earth, they will all be absorbed by Earth's gravity. In fact, this is what happens, although most of the “space tourists” do not linger in orbit long enough to become our real miniluns.

See also: Saturn's Ice Moon may be more interesting than previously thought.

Part of captured space stonesgoes straight to the earth's atmosphere, where it ends its existence, turning into spectacular fireballs; the other part glides along the orbit of the planet until the speed takes them away to the depths of the Universe.

The new earth’s moon is extremely small, which is why it is impossible to notice it in an amateur telescope

Due to the fact that “miniluns” are very difficultdiscover, for the entire history of observations, scientists had only a few candidates for miniature Earth satellites. So, one of the officially confirmed objects was an asteroid called 2006 RH120, which revolved around the Earth from 2006 to 2007. Periodically falling under the influence of a geocentric orbit, an object becomes a satellite of our planet every 20 years, after which it again leaves for the vicinity of the Sun.

Be that as it may, the presence of small Earthtime satellites is of great importance for modern science. So, both 2006 RH120 and 2020 CD3 offer mankind a unique opportunity to study asteroids without even going beyond the vicinity of our planet.

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Sending spacecraft to asteroidsIt is a fairly expensive and time-consuming event. Due to the vast distances separating humanity from space debris, the study of asteroids is often not possible, however, “miniluns” violate this rule, which is not very pleasant for science. So, small satellites can help in analyzing the surface structure of distant objects, and also give an answer to exactly how asteroids are captured by the Earth, thereby allowing specialists to greatly simplify the search for similar stones in the future. In any case, astronomers do not have much time left: according to preliminary modeling, 2020 CD3 will leave the orbit of the Earth by April 2020.