Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Earth, Quite Often, Has Extra Moons

A new study of the way Earth captures asteroids suggests that at any given time Earth has more than one Moon. This study springs from observations that were made on an object in 2006. Initially because of its' size and color, it was though to be a booster rocket stage. But object 2006 RH120 as it was designated, orbit was a bit odd. Studying the data showed that the object had wandered into an unstable orbit in 2006 and in 2007 this was proved out as the object again wandered off on its' own.

From the Daily Galaxy article:
  • it turned out to be a tiny asteroid just a few meters across captured by Earth's gravity in September 2006.
Mikael Granvik at the University of Hawaii states:
  • At any given time, there should be at least one natural Earth satellite of 1-meter diameter orbiting the Earth
Check out the Daily Galaxy Article here

Object photo is the near Earth asteroid Toutatis

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