Is a small piece of the moon orbiting us? The smaller asteroid is similar to the Apollo models

Are there any fragments coming from the moon around our planet? Our natural satellite has been orbiting us for billions of years, but today astronomers have discovered five tiny asteroids called semi-satellites, writes the portal. Sky and telescope.

These tiny asteroids travel in phases with our planet around the sun. Recently, a study claiming that these may be fragments of our moon took a closer look at these objects as well. The gravitational pull of the Earth has some effect on these tiny asteroids. An orbit around the sun is about the size of our planet. However, half the satellites do not orbit the Earth. They do not enter into its sphere of influence, referred to as the Hills Sphere.

469219 Kamo’oalewa was discovered in 2016, five years after a study was published in the scientific journal Nature Communications Earth & Environment. In the study, the scientists observed that the surface of the meteorite was similar to the models brought to Earth by the Apollo astronauts. In addition, there are not many asteroids coming from the Earth-Moon system.

Is a piece of the moon orbiting our planet?
Source: Wikimedia

Semi-satellites are special type objects. They are characterized by gravitational vibrations, an event in which the orbit of an object synchronizes with a particular planet, in this case with the Earth. That means one year on an asteroid will last up to a year on Earth. Semi-satellites are lighter than their orbiting planets and have much longer orbits. Thus satellites spend most of their time inside or outside the planet’s orbit.

If the semi-satellite is outside the planet’s orbit, it will not catch the planet, and when it is inside, it will overtake the planet. The orbits of these objects orbit the Earth, but they never fall into a sphere dominated by its gravitational pull. In the view of the planet, their orbits resemble the letter U.

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A monthly piece?

The asteroid Kamo’oalewa reached Earth at a distance of 0.1 astronomical unit last April. As a result, it is visible not only to the large binocular telescope, but also to the Lowell Discovery telescope. Both scientific instruments have made observations in the visible and infrared spectra.

Data obtained by astronomers from asteroids are similar to those taken by astronauts from the moon. Apollo. At the same time they add to it The semi-satellite does not resemble other nearby asteroids orbiting the Earth.

The similarity with lunar models leads scientists to the idea The 50 meter asteroid may be a fragment of our moon. It formed after an asteroid collided with our yet-to-be-described natural satellite. The color of the semi-satellite and its orbit correspond to the lunar strip theory. In addition, Kamo’oalewa moves only 25% of the speed of other similar asteroids. Its slow speed supports the theory that it is a piece of the moon.

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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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