Astronomers discover new moon temporarily orbiting Earth

Astronomers have discovered that a car-sized second natural satellite, commonly called a mini-moon, is temporarily orbiting Earth for the past three years.

“Earth has a new temporarily captured object/possible mini-moon called 2020 CD3. On the night of Feb. 15, my Catalina Sky Survey teammate Teddy Pruyne and I found a 20th magnitude object,” Kacper Wierzchos, a researcher with the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, tweeted this week.

The orbit of the newly discovered object, 2020 CD3, shows that it entered Earth’s orbit some three years ago, The Minor Planet Center (MPC) of the International Astronomical Union confirmed.

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