There may be a new mini-moon on Earth

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Cosmologists at the University of Arizona’s Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) first found a small brilliant object on Feb. 15, 2020, that they have called a “mini-moon.”

The space experts revealed that the small asteroid captured by Earth is 6 – 12 feet across situated around 186,000 miles from Earth (closer than the moon, which is around 238,900 miles away found the averaged as the year progressed).

Given its size, researchers expect that the mini-moon will be removed from Earth’s gravity field at some point in April, so an opportunity to watch 2020 CD3 through a network of high-powered telescopes is limited.

Wayne Schlingman, a cosmologist at The Ohio State University and OSU planetarium director, said the asteroid “just happened to pass by at the right distance to be trapped by Earth’s gravity.”

Schlingman noticed, “The majority of moons in the Solar System are captured objects.” Near Earth-Objects (NEO) are routinely cataloged and their orbits are observed: “to determine their probability of colliding with the Earth.”

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Herald Quest journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.