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The second moon in Earth’s orbit. Scientists know its origin

The second moon in Earth's orbit.  Scientists know its origin

When he was discovered five years ago when he was young part of the rocks Most likely part of an asteroid orbiting the Earth, the whole world of science was very surprised. In-depth research about fake satellite It brought many answers to questions of interest to astronomers.

“second moon” really called Kamo’oalewa It revolves around the Earth in a clear elliptical orbit. The distance between it and the Earth ranges from 15 to 38 million km (40 to 100 times the distance from the Moon to the Earth). The shape of a small satellite’s orbit is due to differences in the gravitational pull of the Sun and our planet.

At first, scientists thought so Kamo’oalewa It is an asteroid intercepted by Earth’s gravity. It caught the attention of astronomers because its chemical composition was such a big mystery. semi moon It did not reflect bright light at certain infrared frequencies like other typical asteroids, indicating an entirely different origin.

After checking the infrared reflection Kamo’oalewa And the rocks from the moon, it turns out that a small piece of rock is actually part of our natural satellite. How do semi moon Ended up in Earth’s orbit?

Scientists have no doubt that it separated during one of the largest asteroid collisions with the Moon. Then, instead of turning into cosmic dust or hitting the Earth, it fell into Earth’s gravitational field that orbits around it to this day.

Kamo’oalewa However, it won’t stay in its orbit for very long because its current trajectory is quite unstable. According to estimates, the object will remain a companion of the Earth for only 300 years, after which it will fly into additional space.

See also  DART mission, NASA. The DART mission begins tomorrow. Its goal is to change the orbit of the asteroid Didymos

Read also: Małysz and Stoch in asteroid names. Astronomers honor jumpers

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