Earth’s quasi-satellite asteroid, Kamoaleva, believed to be a fragment of the Moon

(469219) Kamoaleva is the official name of an Earth quasi-moon and according to some astronomers this quasi-satellite of our blue planet is no less than a piece of the moon.

and nowAsteroid 2016 HO3 Returns to the front of the stage. First detected by Telescope The study of the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroids at Haleakala, Hawaii, is not just a member of the Apollo asteroid family. Of course, like all over 14,000 objects of this type known to date, it is one of the NEO Whose elliptical orbit has a semi-major axis which is 1. More than UA and a distance soleil To near sun which is less than 1.017 AU. But 2016 HO3 is above all Earth’s quasi-satellites, which means that although it is orbiting the Sun, its motion causes it to briefly move as if it were orbiting Earth. .

Animation of the 2016 HO3 object’s orbit around the Sun (in green). This small asteroid is expected to remain a quasi-satellite of Earth for several hundred years. © NASA, JPL

Since its discovery, 2016 HO3 has meanwhile officially become (469219) Kamoaleva, a name derived from Hawaiian and found in a . mantra Of creation which represents the children traveling alone. We know that its size varies from a few tens to a hundred meters. so it’s a bad shiny object so astronomers It was determined to be studied with a powerful telescope, in this case the Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham in southern Arizona. It is known in English by the acronym of LBT, for big binoculars telescope, two in Mirror 8.4 m in diameter, mounted on a single mount. Kamoaleva is actually about 4 million times weaker than the weakest starEye Man can see in the dark sky. But with so many collecting mirrors, enough Light For example, the focus may be to study, spectra from the surface of the object.

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An ejection from lunar influence?

It was precisely while trying to better determine its composition that a team of astronomers led by Ben Sharkey, a graduate student in planetary science at the University of Arizona, came to a surprising conclusion. This has been revealed in an article published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment,

For nearly three years Ben Sharkey and his colleagues worked to demonstrate that what he was seeing could not be true, eventually coming up with not only the possibility but the possibility of it as well.

ghost of reflected light From the surface of Kamoʻoalewa corresponds only to that Lunar rocks brought back to Earth by Apollo mission, No spectra obtained for other near-Earth asteroids matched.

Another feature of Kamoaleva argues for a lunar origin, its orbit not typical of other NEOs. We will therefore exit the resulting impact on the surface at an undetermined date in the presence of a fragment of our satellite. Moon, This in itself is nothing extraordinary as we find on earth Meteorite Whose origin is undoubtedly lunar, when we compare it also with rocksApollo,

Astronomers believe that Kamoaleva will not remain a quasi-satellite of Earth for very long, perhaps another 300 years. It must have been in this orbit about 500 years ago. Nevertheless, we should still have enough time to meet him – Chinese have project,

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