Home » Newfound ‘Quasi-Moon’ Has Been Earth’s Fellow Traveler for 1000’s of Years

Newfound ‘Quasi-Moon’ Has Been Earth’s Fellow Traveler for 1000’s of Years

by Green Zak
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Scientists just lately found an asteroid that tags together with Earth throughout its yearly journey across the solar. 

Dubbed 2023 FW13, the area rock is taken into account a “quasi-moon” or “quasi-satellite,” that means it orbits the solar in an analogous time-frame as Earth does, however is barely barely influenced by our planet’s gravitational pull. It is estimated to be 50 ft (15 meters) in diameter — roughly equal to 3 massive SUVs parked bumper to bumper. During its orbit of the solar, 2023 FW13 additionally circles Earth, coming inside 9 million miles (14 million kilometers) of our planet. For comparability, the moon has a diameter of two,159 miles (3,474 km) and comes inside 226,000 miles (364,000 km) of Earth on the closest level of its orbit, in line with NASA

2023 FW13 was first noticed in March by the Pan-STARRS observatory, which is situated atop the volcanic mountain Haleakalā in Hawaii. The asteroid’s existence was then confirmed by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii and two observatories in Arizona earlier than being formally listed on April 1 by the Minor Planet Center on the International Astronomical Union, a community of scientists accountable for designating new planets, moons and different objects within the photo voltaic system.

Some estimates recommend that 2023 FW13 has been Earth’s cosmic neighbor since not less than 100 B.C. and that the area rock will proceed to observe this orbital path till round A.D. 3700, Adrien Coffinet, an astronomer and journalist who first categorized the asteroid as a quasi-moon after modeling its orbit, instructed Sky & Telescope.

“It appears to be the longest quasi-satellite of Earth recognized up to now,” Coffinet stated.

Following 2023 FW13’s preliminary discovery in March, area observers dug into the information and located observations of the asteroid relationship all the way in which again to 2012, in line with Live Science’s sister web site Space.com

Despite hovering comparatively near Earth, this quasi-satellite seemingly is not on a collision course with our planet. 

“The excellent news is, such an orbit would not end in an impacting trajectory ‘out of the blue,'” Alan Harris, an astronomer on the Space Science Institute, instructed Sky & Telescope. 

This will not be Earth’s solely quasi-companion; a unique quasi-satellite often called Kamo’oalewa was found in 2016. The rock sticks equally near our planet throughout its orbit across the solar, and a 2021 research steered that this asteroid may really be a fraction of Earth’s moon

Copyright 2023 LiveScience, a Future firm. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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