Earth has a new minimoon said scientists after discovering a small object rotating around our planet.
The object has been captured in Earth’s orbit and is rotating in our solar system just like our natural satellite, the moon.
The new object has been designated as “020 CD3” by Minor Planet Center which is a part of the International Astronomical Union which names the objects discovered in space.
On February 15, astronomers from Catalina Sky Survey discovered the object and studied it repeatedly for days which helped them to get the details of 020 CD3. This study helped them to get detailed images of the minimoon.
Upon examination, they said that the object would have around 6.2 – 11.5 ft in diameter and is shining which might suggest that it might have been a carbon-rich asteroid. Although newly found, it is said that the object might have been revolving from the past 3-4 years which was said after studying the orbital simulations by astronomers. However, official confirmation of the object came out on 25th February where the object was given a new name.
Observations and calculations indicated the object “is temporarily bound to the Earth”, the centre wrote in a circular sent out to astronomers.
Although there are a lot of satellites, asteroids rotate around the earth, 020 CD3 and RH120 which was found in 2006 are said to be rotating the earth. Both these objects were discovered by astronomers by the same institution.