NASA already stated that Earth doesn’t have a single Moon, but many tiny ones. Astronomers discovered a small asteroid in 2006 called 2006 RH120 which orbited both Earth and the Moon.
Two years ago, the astronomer George Dvorsky used the Hawaiian telescope Pan-STARRS 1 and discovered an asteroid – HO3 2016 – which NASA stated that it was a natural quasistatic of our planet. That means the asteroid was in equilibrium with our planet.
With the latest technology capability, scientists can now track these mini-moons. American and Finnish astronomers wrote their findings in the journal Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences.
Robert Judice (University of Hawaii) explains how Earth got its mini-moons:
“Mini-moons arrived to Earth from the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter, drawn by the gravity of the Sun and planets of the Solar system. The main problem is to detect these tiny objects, despite their close proximity”.
The team will find out more about the mini-moons as soon as the Large viewing telescope (LSST) in Chile will start working in test mode next year. The telescope will have a wide-angle mirror and a high-precision digital camera to rapidly detect tiny asteroids.
Testing and Mining of Quasistatic
Why this much interest in the mini-moons? Robert Judice explains that a “mini-moon is a potential testing laboratory near-earth space.”
Scientists hope that they can study the nature of asteroids by getting closer to quasistatic, explains Michael Granvik (University of Helsinki):
“We do not yet fully understand the nature of asteroids. Meteorites are only indirect ability to perform it, but the Earth’s atmosphere destroys most of the materials from which they are composed. Samples collected by the probes on kazipoteka will become extremely valuable material.”
Not only these small satellites will help scientists develop technology for planetary protection, but they will also learn more of the space rocks’ composition. According to Advocator, the extremely valuable material is also attracting many new space-mining companies that are looking to improve their technology for future missions.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere