Earth could be about to get a completely new moon – although experts have been left baffled at what the mystery object actually is actually.
An object known as 2020 SO is actually heading towards Earth along with through October the idea will be a “mini-moon”, which could stay in orbit of the planet until May next year.
Another object, named 3753 Cruithne, has already been dubbed Earth’s “second moon” – meaning 2020 SO would likely be our third.
Cruithne is actually in a normal elliptic orbit around the Sun.
Its period of revolution around the Sun, approximately 364 days at present, is actually almost equal to in which of Earth.
Because of This specific, Cruithne along with our planet appear to “follow” each additional in their paths around the Sun along with has led to the body being called “Earth’s second moon”.
Earth also regularly gets many smaller asteroids along with meteors caught in its orbit, which astronomers have previously described as “mini-moons”.
Technically, any natural object which is actually caught in a planet’s gravitational pull is actually a “moon”.
Astronomers say 2020 SO is actually a non-threatening object which is actually heading towards Earth along with could get caught inside the gravity of the planet for up to eight months, according to simulations through astronomers.
A video of the simulation shows the object 2020 SO doing two close approaches to Earth while in orbit of our planet.
The object then looks like the idea will make an attempt to swing away through our planet, before getting sucked back in by the gravitational pull for a close approach on February 2, 2021.
However, This specific is actually only through initial observations along with could easily change over the next few months.
Astronomer Tony Dunn said: “Asteroid 2020 SO may get captured by Earth through Oct 2020 to May 2021. Current nominal trajectory shows shows capture through L2, along with escape through L1.
“Highly-chaotic path, so be prepared for lots of revisions as completely new observations come in.”
However, experts have noticed something strange about the incoming mini moon.
The velocity of 2020 SO is actually much slower than any space rock, which has led to suggestions the idea could be something man-made.
The average space rock travels at a speed of anywhere between 11 kilometres per second along with 72 kilometres per second.
The object 2020 SO features a speed of just 0.6 kilometres per second.
NASA’s Paul Chodas of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has identified the object as possibly being a piece of old space junk.
More specifically, Mr Chodas said the idea is actually likely a piece of rocket through the Surveyor 2 spacecraft which was sent to the Moon all the way back in 1966.
Astronomer Kevin Heider said: “Asteroid 2020 SO is actually suspected of being the Surveyor 2 centaur rocket booster, launched on 20 September 1966.
“The Earth-like orbit along with low relative velocity suggest a possible man-made object.”
Earth’s last mini-moon came earlier This specific year when a smaller meteor called 2020 CD3, which was about the size of a car, was captured by the planet’s orbit.
The space rock stayed in orbit for around three months, before continuing its voyage across the solar system in March.
, http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DrudgeReportFeed/~3/ANsMV7hmbbg/mystery-object-entering-earths-orbit-22729257, 23 September 2020 | 9:52 pm
Source : Mystery object entering Earth’s orbit ‘to become planet’s mini-moon until May’