We have a second ‘mini’ Moon!

We have a second ‘mini’ Moon!

We have a second mini Moon

A small asteroid has been discovered, that has an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth.

Astronomers discovered a small asteroid, in an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth, and it will remain so for centuries to come.



Above, Asteroid 2016 HO3.  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As it orbits the sun, this new asteroid 2016 HO3, appears to circle around Earth as well.

It is too distant to be considered a true satellite of our planet, but it is the best and most stable example to date of a near-Earth companion, or “quasi-satellite.”

Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said:

“Since 2016 HO3 loops around our planet, but never ventures very far away as we both go around the sun, we refer to it as a quasi-satellite of Earth. One other asteroid — 2003 YN107 — followed a similar orbital pattern for a while over 10 years ago, but it has since departed our vicinity. This new asteroid is much more locked onto us. Our calculations indicate 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth’s companion for centuries to come.”



source nasa.gov

By |2017-02-01T20:14:47+03:00Jun 20, 2016|Categories: Astronomy|Tags: , |

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