Earth’s Mini-Moon Has Stopped Orbiting And Started Chasing Our Planet Instead

Earth’s Mini-Moon Has Stopped Orbiting And Started Chasing Our Planet Instead

by Eric Mack, Forbes

For a short time, our planet was orbited by a second, tiny natural satellite. But now one veteran observer says that Asteroid 2020 CD3 has been “tossed back into orbit around the sun” and is tailing us on our annual journey around our star.

The small asteroid is probably only about the size of a large appliance or a compact car and it was first spotted in February, but astronomers think it was probably stuck in orbit around Earth for at least a year, if not longer.

Bill Gray, who created a software package astronomers use to track nearby asteroids and comets, told me that he’s certain our mini-moon has gone back to orbiting the sun rather than our planet. He explained that 2020 CD3 likely came in for a close pass of Earth without sufficient energy to escape our planet’s gravity and wound up held in orbit for a while by the combined gravity of Earth and the moon.

Read the full article here…

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