Earth has a new moon!
Our planet has a new moon, and it’s the size of a car! Earth has captured a tiny object and pulled it into orbit.
What is it?
The asteroid, known as 2020 CD3, is only the second asteroid known to orbit Earth.
Its mass is roughly 6-11 feet in diameter.
And while it won’t last, this asteroid acts as a temporary mini-moon whirling around our planet. The asteroid is expected to drop out of orbit around the Earth in April and return to a heliocentric orbit, which is an orbit around the sun.
The discovery was made by Kacper Wierzchos and Theodore Pruyne, researcher specialists for the Catalina Sky Survey. It’s a NASA-funded project at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tuscon, Arizona.
The astronomer said it was a “big deal” as “this is just the second asteroid known to orbit Earth (after 2006 RH120, which was also discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey).”
Its route suggests it entered Earth’s orbit three years ago.
The only other asteroid known to orbit Earth, 2006 RH120, rotated the planet from September 2006 to June 2007.