Planet Earth has a two moon experience as it pulled a small asteroid into its gravitational field. The newcomer is a small asteroid that was apparently snagged in the Earth‘s orbit where it now exists as a temporary “mini-moon.”The asteroid is likely between 6.2 feet and 11.4 feet in diameter and is revolving the earth for 3 years now-just like our own natural satellite, moon. The new moon is named 2020 CD3 and its existence in the Earth’s gravity field is also confirmed by Kacper Wierzchos and Theodore Pruyne, researcher specialists for the Catalina Sky Survey, a sky research center at the University of Arizona -funded by NASA.
The Minor Planet Center(MPC), a division of Smithsonian Astrophysical observatory announced the new mini-satellite of Earth on Tuesday. The MPC is the single worldwide location for receipt and distribution of positional measurements of minor planets, comets and outer irregular natural satellites of the major planets. The discovery was made last week but was pending for announcement to confirm the ‘mini-moon’ is not a rogue space junk or a spent rocket booster.
“Orbit integrations indicate that this object is temporarily bound to the Earth,” according to the announcement on its site. No link to a known artificial object has been found. Further observations and dynamical studies are strongly encouraged.” Earlier, an asteroid which was named 2006 RH120, came to revolve the Earth coming under its gravitational pull. It was later named as a TCO, acronym for Temperoroy Captured Object.
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