Earth has temporarily occupied a new mini-moon that is between the size of a cow and the size of a hippopotamus.
Earth will soon welcome a floating mini-moon, but this newly discovered object, an apparent asteroid, may actually be of unnatural origin – a booster rocket dating back to the 1960s.
The Moon is an asteroid called 2020 CD3 with a diameter of 1.9 – 3.5 m.
The new moon, temporarily tied to the Earth, was discovered by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center on Tuesday. The organization is responsible for the designation of minor bodies in the solar system.
Astronomers Caspar Virzchos and Theodor Pruen, who worked at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, USA, first detected the asteroid on February 15.
As Choda points out, many clues point to it being of unnatural origin. The 2020 SO orbits the Sun once every 387 days, which is very close to our planet’s 365-day orbit. It is moving very slowly at a speed of 1,880 mph (3,025 km / h), which is slow for an asteroid.
Chodas reverse-engineered the orbit of the object, discovering that 2020, So would be near our planet at the end of 1966, so the timing was well matched.
Meanwhile, the mini-moon is likely to stick around the Earth from October 2020 to May 2021. Within this period, the heavenly body is expected to move closer to us, which will give us a chance to make more detailed observations and settle the matter. Good for its origins, report metinfo.net