Did you know Earth has a new mini-moon? But it won't be here forever

2020-02-28 08:45
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Turns out our lonely moon has had a new little friend for a while.

Researchers from the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey announced that they've discovered a tiny asteroid - named 2020 CD3 - that has been temporarily acting like a moon, orbiting Earth for the last two or three years. 

According to CNN, it won't be around forever - it's expected to return to an orbit around the sun sometime in April. According to Kacper Wierzchos, one of the scientists who discovered it, its diameter is between 1.9 and 3.5 metres.

READ: Supermoons, ring of fire and a rare meeting of giant planets to be seen in 2020's skies 

Scientists still have a lot of observation work to do to figure out the origin of the asteroid, what it's made up of and when exactly it would say adios to us. 

But this isn't the first time Earth has had a mini-moon. 2006 RH120 was caught in Earth's orbit for almost a year from September 2006 to June 2007 and is only expected to visit us again in August 2028. However, some believe it's actually remnants of a spaceship rather than a natural object. 

It remains rare however for Earth to capture objects into its orbit, as many specific factors have to work together for it to happen.

For now, we can enjoy pretending we're on some sci-fi planet with two moons.

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