Moon, as we know it, it was for almost 4.51 billion years a real and steady orbital pal. As fantastic as it might be, a recent event caught everyone’s attention. A tiny minimoon was discovered circling Earth. Dubbed 2020CD3, so far, we found out about the cosmic feature is that is most likely a car-sized piece of carbonaceous rock.
According to researchers, the minimoon has been in orbit for almost three years. The Gemini Observatory in Hawaii shot on February 24, an incredible color image of our new pal, using the 8-meter Gemini North telescope. By connecting three photos with various filters, the image displays our tiny minimoon as a spot in the middle of the picture, with the bright stars blurry around it.
It appears like that because the minimoon was being detected up in the atmosphere. As the camera runs, the stars (that don’t venture too much) dim. Unfortunately, the minimoon won’t stay for too long with us.
The Minimoon Features Unveiled and Other Details
In the atmosphere above our planet, scientists using the Catalina Sky Survive have detected a new pal, an asteroid temporarily dragged by Earth’s gravity, what they describe as a minimoon. It has been dubbed 2020 CD3 and is a tiny chunk of carbonaceous rock between 6.2 and 11.5 feet in diameter. The fact that the minimoon it’s been in orbit for almost three years makes it so intriguing.
“Obtaining the images was a scramble for the Gemini team because the object is quickly becoming fainter as it moves away from Earth,” detailed John Blakeslee, a Gemini Observatory astronomer.
Researchers expect the minimoon’s leaving will happen somewhere in April.
Even if it might be too late for us to get close to the minimoon, astronomers believe that there are many more of such space objects out there in the Universe.