A group of Cornell astrophysicists say that at any given time, Earth always has a very small second moon orbiting. That’s the moon I like most. Phenomenica writes:
The Earth has always had a temporary second moon, new study has claimed. When astronomers caught sight of a mysterious titanium white object circling around the Earth in 2006, they assumed it was a spent rocket. But it was actually a small asteroid captured by the Earth’s gravitational field that rotated around the Earth until June 2007.
In the new study, astrophysicists at Cornell claim that this little moon was not an anomaly as these asteroids come and go so often it means our planet always has a temporary second moon.
According to Cornell University’s Mikael Granvik, Jeremie Vaubaillon and Robert Jedicke, they have calculated the population of “irregular natural satellites that are temporarily captured” by Earth.
In their study, researchers say that while these moons are small, the scientific implications of this discovery are phenomenal. Instead of having to send crews to asteroids astronomers can wait until they come closer to Earth to intercept and learn more about the origins of our solar system.