Another Moon for Earth?

(Slate::Bad Astronomy) – Phil Plait:

The Earth has one satellite, right? That fact is so solid, we just call it the Moon with a capital M.

But due to a trick of gravity and timing, there are other objects out in space that aren’t really moons, but do travel along with Earth through space. I guess “companions” would be a better name.

One of them was just discovered recently by astronomers: the asteroid 2016 HO3. It’s small, probably 40 – 100 meters in size, and let me be clear: It orbits the Sun, not the Earth, so I wouldn’t call it a moon. But its orbit is such that it always sticks near the Earth, and from our point of view even seems to go around us! …

bad_astronomy 2016/06/17 2016 ho3

2016 HO3 orbit


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