Over the past 4 billion years, the Moon orbits the Earth. However, recently, the human planetary satellite was not alone. Appear mysterious object, which acts as a 'second Moon'. What is it? Turns out it is Asteroid 2014 OL339.
|Scientists hope to one day 'catch' a quasi-satellite which could offer a valuable sample of material largely unchanged since the dawn of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. Pictured is an artists's impression of Earth rising above lunar horizon. (Picture from: http://dailym.ai/1siCkWy)|
|A new object, dubbed 2014 OL339, has been found masquerading as Earth’s ‘second moon’.The new ‘moon’, which is in fact a 490ft (150 metre) asteroid, takes about a year to orbit the sun and is close enough to Earth to look like its satellite. Pictured is its elliptical orbit. (Picture from: http://dailym.ai/1siCkWy)|
The asteroid has an elliptical orbit. It takes 364.92 days to circle the sun. That means 2014 OL339 and Earth are in a 'resonant orbits'. The condition occurs when two objects orbiting gravitational influence each other because their orbits are closely related.
For example, Pluto and Neptune are in 2:3 orbital resonance. That is, every 2 times Pluto around the Sun, Neptune took 3 trips around the star.
Asteroid 2014 OL339 orbiting the Sun in the same period with the Earth. However, our planet's gravity affects the movement. As an adult pushing a child on a swing. Viewed using sophisticated telescopes from Earth, 2014 OL339 looks as if orbiting around our planet, relative moving backward to the stars.
A number of other space rock ever go into orbit that makes them look as if circling the Earth. As with 2014 OL339, some of them takes about 1 year to go around the sun, in an elliptical orbit. Similarly, according to Phil Plait, who writes on the Bad Astronomy blog.
|A number of other space rocks have fallen into orbits that make them look as though they are circling the Earth. The most famous is 3753 Cruithne, a 3 miles (5km) asteroid (animations shown above). The yellow orbit in the top animation shows Cruithne's orbit around Earth. (Picture from: http://dailym.ai/1siCkWy)|
The most famous is the 3753 Cruithne, along the 5 kilometer asteroid discovered in 1986 - and in 1997, the scientists uncover the unusual route.
The scientists hope to one day be able to 'catch' the quasi-satellite that may contain valuable samples, a material which is largely unchanged since the beginning of the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. In 2012, a team led by the University of Hawaii at Manoa counted possibility that at certain times the Earth has more than one moon or satellites.
|Our planet has also had a number of ‘minimoons'. These space rocks are often only a few feet across, and each tends to do a stint of around a year in orbit - before resuming their previous lives as asteroids. (Picture from: http://dailym.ai/1siCkWy)|
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