As you know, the gravity of our planet regularly captures small cosmic rocks and pulls them into orbit. According to astronomers, there may be several miniature "moons" that are several kilometers in size next to Earth. However, a research team from Australia believes that in 2016 one of these space objects was put into a critical orbit by Earth, leading to the fall of a small and very unstable "moon" on the surface of our planet. Despite the potential threat that such asteroids pose to Earth's inhabitants, scientists believe that it is the mini-moons that can become one of the most useful objects in the solar system for humanity. What threatens such a cosmic neighborhood?
How many moons does the earth have?
According to the astronomy.com portal, scientists have so far been virtually unable to detect miniature "moons" in orbit. It is only with certainty known that in 2006 a tiny asteroid named 2006 put RH120 in orbit around a blue planet for about 11 months before finally leaving the Earth-Moon system. Still, researchers believe that the Earth's temporary moons are much more than you can imagine, and this conclusion can be confirmed by the launch of the large Surveillance Telescope (LSST), which creates regular maps of the night sky.
See also: The moon can help in the search for extraterrestrials
Despite all evanescence, mini-moons are very attractive space objects for researchers, as they are the Earth's closest asteroids. Such a favorable location for humanity means that we need less energy or fuel to achieve these goals than when we reach other space objects – whether testing asteroid redirection technologies or extracting useful resources.
When a group of Australian automatic cameras discovered in 2016 that an object was burning in the Earth's atmosphere, the researchers were able to use the information obtained to calculate the trajectory of an object whose original position was in orbit for some time, so that the object DN160822_03 is like the moon could turn around the earth. The scientists came to such an unexpected conclusion by analyzing the speed of the meteor and its angle of incidence and completely eliminating the fact that the fallen object was space debris. The researchers believe that the object DN160822_03 could be considered as a full temporal satellite of the earth with a probability of 95 percent together with the space object 2006RH120 and a slow car, which came from the near-Earth orbit in 2014.