Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Do We Have a New Moon?

For those of you who have read my blog for long, know that I love studying about space. When I ran across our new companion asteroid, I began wondering if we could call it another moon since it is supposed to orbit Earth for the next few hundred years or so.

If my students were to read this article (when my students read this article) I already know that they will ask if we now have two moons. Of course I'll tell them that we are waiting on the space scientists to officially declare this as a visiting asteroid, or new moon. 

Check out the video clip


So, what do we know? This asteroid was spotted April 27, 2016. It is somewhere between 40-100 meters. It never gets closer to Earth than 9 million miles (14 million kilometers). One article states that 2016 HO3's closest distance is 38 times the distance of the Moon from Earth, and the furthest distance is 100 times the distance of the Moon from Earth.

To truly be a satellite of the Earth, the object must depend on the gravity of the Earth-moon system.
To be a Quasi-satellite it must orbit the sun from the same distance as Earth. What would you call this mini-moon?

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