SCEINCE

The Earth may simply have a temporary second moon in its orbit

If you’ve ever envied Jupiter or Saturn for their many moons, you may just be lucky. Our planet can too there is a second moon opened for the first time in 2016, according to a a new study published in Nature magazine.

It’s called Kamo’oalewa, which in Hawaiian means a moving celestial object and apparently orbits the Earth. But it does not follow a traditional path, instead circling on a trajectory similar to a corkscrew.

It is also small, measuring only 50 meters (164 feet) in diameter.

Scientists who discovered it describe its orbit as a dance. “It’s mostly influenced only by solar gravity, but this pattern appears because it’s also – but not quite – in an Earth-like orbit. So it’s this kind of weird dance. ” he said TIME Magazine graduate student Ben Sharkey from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, lead author of the article.

Where does this wonderful second moon come from? Well, the researchers write in their study that they think it’s “lunar material.” This is not hard to believe. After all, our moon is constantly bombarded by celestial objects, it is only logical that part of it should fly away and then be close to Earth.

To prove this, Sharkey turned to a published document on lunar samples brought by Apollo 14 mission in 1971 He found that when he compared the data he received in his telescope with what geologists from the first study emerged in their rock laboratories, the results matched.

This means that Kamo’oaleva is not only the second moon for our Earth, but is actually a small part of our already existing moon. And that makes it even more wonderful.

However, our extra moon will not stay close to us for long. Sharkey and others believe that in 300 years it will disrupt its orbit and disappear on its own. Wherever he goes next, we wish him success in his travels.





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