Mini Moon

Scientists have discovered the presence of a ‘second moon’ orbiting the earth. This is an asteroid that was captured by earth’s gravity while passing through.

  • What is the mini moon?

‘Mini Moon’ is an asteroid which has entered into an orbit around the earth- acting as the second moon. The asteroid is called 2020 CD3 and has a diameter of about 1.9 m to 3.5m. It is about the size of a car and was discovered on February 15th, 2020.

  • Is it to orbit the earth permanently?

The mini moon is a Temporarily Captured Object or TCO. This means that it will escape earth’s orbit in a few years. Its orbit is unstable and has to contend with the gravitational influence of the sun and the permanent moon.

  • Is this the first such occurrence for earth?

This is not the first such ‘mini moon’ for earth. The 2020 CDS was discovered orbiting the earth by NASA funded Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) of Arizona. CSS was previously involved in discovering the 2006 RH120 which orbited the earth, till it left in 2007.

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