Mini-moon: A newly detected object that has been defined as a tentative asteroid buzzing by the earth or just a celestial object hovering above us before being flung back to space. From time immemorial, Moon has been the only companion to us, the mainstay in the domain of sky, and has guided humanity through its rhythm.
Lately, astronomers have spotted a new object, named 2020 SO on an incoming trajectory, ephemerally captured by earth’s gravity which has never been observed in action before.
Deemed as an extremely unlikely to happen phenomena, for it would require to be aligned in the perfect conformation to be put into a stable orbit around the earth and would permute our existing par of the course.
Earth may have a new mini-moon?
Now and then asteroids are environing us,2006 RH120 between 2006 and 2007 and 2020 CD3 FROM 2018 TO 2020 is to name two of them. But this so-called mini-moon has been flashed in a recently surfaced simulation to be 43000 km away from us and is speculated to hang around from October this year to May 2021.Image source: international news headline
As” current normal trajectory shows capture through L2 and escape through L1 a highly chaotic path, so be prepared for lots of revisions as new observations are coming”.It was first observed through a 71-inch PAN STARRS telescope at Maui Hawaii Observatory and according to NASA’s CNEOS database’ the estimated size of 2020 SO 21 matches that of 1966 CENTAUR nearing about 6.4 to 14m(21 to 46 feet) in lengt.
It will pass by at a distance of 50000 km on 1st Dec 2020 making two close rounds of the Earth’s orbit and will fly by at 22000 km on 2nd Feb 2021, next year.
However assessing its slow speed, there have been uncertainties as to what 2020 SO actually is. The most prominent interpretation drawn concerning it is;
“It’s human material that’s been out in a different part of space so it would be interesting that to the results you get from stuff in low Earth orbit, which is much, much denser in material’ -said Alice Gorman of Flinders University in Australia suggesting it could potentially be a part of a lost multi-staged rocket launched from our planet which is designed to fall apart in the infinite space, making it hard to retrieve which is unlike the reusable rocket in recent use.
“You have to keep tracking these things or you can just sort of losing sight of them really easily. And if they do something a little bit unpredictable and you look the wrong way, then you don’t know where it’s gone. It is quite astonishing the number of things that have gone missing’.
All in all, the groundwork of this long discarded man-made space junk if studied at, might prove to be a learning experience.
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