Science and technology

Earth has an ‘Almost Moon’ Orbiting with It

Scientists recently revealed more information about an asteroid designated 2016 HO3, which some controversy-inclined people continue to describe as Earth’s “second Moon.”

Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

Mount Graham, AZ, United States (4E) – Scientists not too long ago revealed extra details about an asteroid designated 2016 HO3, which some controversy-inclined folks proceed to explain as Earth’s “second Moon.”

HO3 is not one other Moon as a result of it orbits the Sun and never the Earth. What leads some folks to the mistaken assumption HO3 is a second moon is as a result of the asteroid strikes with the Earth because it orbits the Sun.

HO3 is greatest described as a quasi-satellite or an “almost Moon.” It rotates as soon as each 28 minutes and is manufactured from supplies much like most different asteroids.

A group of scientists used the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) on Mt. Graham in southeastern Arizona to study extra about HO3. They described HO3 as “a small near-Earth object (NEO) measuring no more than 100 meters (330 ft) throughout that additionally seems to circle across the Earth as a quasi-satellite whereas orbiting the solar.

“Only five quasi-satellites have been discovered so far, but 2016 HO3 is the most stable of them. The provenance of this object is unknown. On timescales of a few centuries, 2016 HO3 remains within 38 to 100 lunar-distances from us.”

The group additionally mentioned that “one strategy to visualize HO3’s orbit is by picturing a hula hoop dancer — or the solar on this analogy — twirling two hoops round its hip on the identical time. While it orbits the solar, HO3 makes yearly loops across the Earth.

“As a result, the object appears to orbit the Earth, but it is not gravitationally bound to our planet.”

Paul Chodas, supervisor of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, mentioned that since HO3 “loops around our planet, but never ventures very far away as we both go around the sun, we refer to it as a quasi-satellite of Earth.”

HO3’s orbit is tilted relative to Earth’s and passes via the aircraft of Earth’s orbit. Over the many years, it additionally performs a sluggish, forwards and backwards twist.

HO3 was found on April 27, 2016, by the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope in Hawaii.

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