Earth Has A New “Mini-Moon”; For Now
Earth has two moons… for now.
According to astronomers from the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, a rocky body has been orbiting around earth for a few years. This classifies it as a moon.
2020 CD3 is the official name given to this body, classified as a Minor Planet Electronic Circular. It’s estimated to only be about 6 to 12 feet in diameter. That’s small!
Back in mid-February, astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson, Arizona discovered 2020 CD3. After observing it closely for a few weeks, astronomers were able to determine that it’s likely been orbiting around earth for about three years. Computer models helped determine this, and also are suggesting that this new “moon” won’t be around much longer.
It has a very irregular orbit around earth, but is still caught up in its orbit. It’s not expected to stick around for long though. Astronomers estimate it will be escaping earth’s gravity and floating off into space sometime in late March or April.