Temporary Mini-Moons

Every since elementary school, at least, most of us have understood that the earth has a moon — just one.  Old farts like me even remember when humans walked on that moon, that it was important that we had been there. But it seems we have to revise our knowledge of this singularity.

For the second time in a few years, astronomers have discovered a second — albeit tiny — moon;

“The mini-moon appears to have been orbiting our planet since it was first captured by Earth’s gravity three years ago. Early observations also suggest it is small enough to fit in just about any garage or shed, with an estimated diameter between 2 and 3.5 meters (about 6 – 11 feet).”

It is, in fact, a captured asteroid and its stay with us might be quite brief:

A “previous asteroid … did time as a mini-moon … which did just a few trips around our planet in 2006 and 2007 before being ejected back out into the solar system. [The current asteroid] may be ejected as well later this year.”

So now I don’t feel so short-changed when I read that Jupiter has 80 moons.

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