The new “little moon” that Earth will capture may just be space junk

The new "little moon" that Earth will capture may just be space junk

Does Earth have the second discovery of a small moon in 2020? Unlikely.


We have a huge moon looming on the horizon and you might think that’s enough of the moons. But sometimes, the Earth becomes greedy and begins to pull out small asteroids for long stays in orbit. Short visits by these “little satellites” are rather rare, as only two have been confirmed so far. The most recent one was on February 15, when Little Rock was the 2020 CD3 Astronomers discovered it In the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey. Glorious Little Moon It was trapped in Earth’s gravity since 2015 and stayed with us until May 2020 before it burst into the universe again.

But in the unprecedented year of 2020, astronomers announced the discovery of another possible small moon: 2020 SO.

Except that this person is not behaving at all like a small asteroid. Our little moon is not a moon at all. It moves so slowly that it cannot be expelled from a cosmic body. Therefore, astronomers believe, it is most likely just space junk left over from the early days of the space race.

Current theory holds that the 2020 SO is the body of the rocket from the Atlas Centaur-D missile that was originally launched in 1966. The rocket launched on September 20 carrying the Surveyor 2 moon lander to the moon. Dimensions and orbit of 2020 SO, Published by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Seems to align neatly with the Centaur’s body.

The object will be captured by Earth’s gravity in October and will have its closest approach on December 1, reaching a distance of about 31,000 miles. Astronomers should be able to take a closer look at an object, assessing its shape and the type of light it emits.

If it’s a Centaur stage – if it’s a junk – it’s still an interesting junk. It has been wandering the solar system for more than five decades. We might be able to learn a little bit about the effects of space on our ancient rocket bodies. And although it will not cause any problems to Earthlings, as far as we can tell, it is running in time A reminder of the issue of space waste.

Since we started launching rockets and satellites into orbit, we have been polluting the space around our planet. Not everything that climbs instantly goes down. There are thousands of pieces of space garbage, defunct satellites, and little bits of garbage, orbiting Earth at great speeds. Colliding with a piece of scrap can be devastating, punching a hole in a rocket or satellite. More launches mean more unwanted waste and more unwanted waste pose a much greater risk to spaceflight, satellites and our desire to occupy space.

You don’t even have to look back more than 24 hours to see how potential problems form space debris. Tuesday, The International Space Station had to “burn maneuver.” To avoid an unknown piece of cosmic trash head towards it.

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