Earth might have a new moon, but it's not here to stay

Taylor Watson
·1 min read

There's a new moon in town.

Dubbed 2020 CD3, a newly-discovered mini moon is about the size of a car and orbits around Earth every 47 days. It was discovered earlier this month by scientists at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, reports New Scientist.

Alas, our newly-acquired moon is fleeting. The Minor Planet Center states that the object is "temporarily bound to Earth." It's likely 2020 CD3 has been orbiting earth for three years, but its expected to "escape" the Earth-moon system in April, Research Fellow Grigori Fedorets at Queen's University Belfast told New Scientist.

Astronomer Kacper Wierzchos has been tweeting about the discovery, and notes it's a "big deal as out of ~ 1 million known asteroids, this is just the second asteroid known to orbit Earth."

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Though more observations are necessary, there's no evidence that it's a piece of artificial debris rather than a mini moon, according to the Minor Planet Center.

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