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Earth has acquired a second ‘mini-moon’

2020 CD3.

Perspective view of the orbit of 2020 CD3 about the Earth. The white band is the orbit of Earth’s main, permanent, moon. Credit: Tony873004
Perspective view of the orbit of 2020 CD3 about the Earth. The white band is the orbit of Earth’s main, permanent, moon. Credit: Tony873004

On the night of Feb. 15, 2020, astronomers Kacper Wierzchos and Teddy Pruyne at the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona spotted a 20th magnitude object. The object has a mass of roughly 1.9-3.5 meters (6-11 feet) in diameter.

According to astronomers, this object that circling our planet is a second ‘mini-moon’ called 2020 CD3. And the mindblowing- the rock’s trajectory indicates that the object has been in orbit for around three years already.

Astronomer Kacper Wierzchos from the Catalina Sky Survey took Twitter and share the news:

He said, “It was a big deal. This is just the second asteroid known to orbit Earth (after 2006 RH120, which was also discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey).”

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Minor Planet Center said that there is no link to a known artificial object that has been found. Meanwhile, the object is likely an asteroid captured by Earth’s gravity. Also, its orbit integrations suggest that the object is temporarily bound to the Earth.