A new member has joined our skies’ celestial family as scientists discover a second moon, or a minimoon in Earth’s orbit. By Bayar Jain

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¿Qué es 2020 CD3, la nueva "Luna" que descubrieron los astrónomos? 🌙 Desde el día de ayer circula la noticia de que la Tierra ahora tiene OTRA luna 🌚 nosotros te explicaremos un poco de que se trata. El pasado 15 de Febrero Astrónomos del centro Catalina Sky Survey de la NASA, en Arizona descubrieron lo que sería un asteroide que lleva orbitando nuestro planeta desde hace 3 años, y ayer han publicado las primeras imágenes del 2020 CD3, como ha sido nombrado. Kacper Wierzchos 🔭 astrónomo encargado de difundir la noticia explicó que C2020 CD3 tiene entre 1,9 y 3,5 metros de diámetro, basado en su reflejo (bastante pequeño comparado a la Luna) Técnicamente es considerada una mini-luna, al haber estado atrapada por la órbita terrestre. También se conoce como "objeto capturado temporalmente", ya que se calcula que en abril el asteroide abandonará la órbita. No es la primera "mini-luna" descubierta. El 2006 RH120 fue descubierto por el mismo centro en 2006 y es un asteroide que orbita al Sol y periódicamente se acerca a la órbita de la Tierra cada 20 años aproximadamente, y puede quedar atrapado y ser un satélite temporal, igual que 2020 CD3. Desliza para ver la foto oficial de este asteroide! 👉 #Astronomía #NewMoon #MiniLuna #2020CD3

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The moon has often been a muse for artists, poets, songwriters, and photographers for generations. For a temporary period, a new source of inspiration can be added to the mix, owing to a newly discovered minimoon, or what is colloquially being called a ‘second moon.’

Researchers from the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona have found 2020 CD3, a small celestial object caught in the Earth’s orbit. Dubbed as a minimoon – a space rock captured in Earth’s orbit for several months or years – this rare satellite, however, is a guest in space as it could soon shoot off to a distant solar system, or crumble and burn in our atmosphere.

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I’m sorry…what? #2020cd3 #minimoon

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Kacper Wierzchos, a senior research specialist at NASA and University of Arizona-funded Catalina Sky Survey, took to Twitter to make this announcement. He further explained how the object has a diameter between 1.9 metres to 3.5 minutes. It is believed that this carbon-rich asteroid has been stuck in our orbit for the past three years, and completes a lap every 47 days, travelling in an oval-shaped orbit. However, scientists are yet to confirm whether this rock is naturally occurring, or junk floating around in the abyss.

Although astronomers suspect that there is always at least one minimoon circling our planet, these tiny satellites are rarely discovered. Until now, only one other such instance has been discovered: a three-foot-wide asteroid called RH120, which orbited Earth between 2006 and 2007 for 18 months. Later, it was captured and thrown into an orbit around Earth, like the Moon. This mini moon however, flew back into space, in less than nine months.

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