We could have another space neighbor in any event for a while. Astronomers at the NASA-financed Catalina Sky Survey figure they’ve recognized an asteroid that’s trapped in Earth’s gravity.
“Earth has another incidentally caught object/Possible smaller than normal moon called 2020 CD3. The evening of Feb. 15, my Catalina Sky Survey colleague Teddy Pruyne and I found a twentieth size item,” Kacper Wierzchos tweeted Tuesday.
Wierzchos determined that the space rock is somewhere in the range of 1.9 and 3.5 meters in measurement. The Minor Planet Center acknowledged the close Earth item, and it entered Earth’s circle around three years prior. The Catalina Sky Survey is based at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab in Tucson.
It’s the second asteroid that’s known to have entered Earth’s circle. The past one, 2006 RH120, was likewise found by the CSS and circled Earth for the year and a half more than 2006 and 2007, as confirmed by science writer Corey S. Powell.
The CSS didn’t react to a solicitation for input.
First distributed Feb. 26, 4:35 a.m. PT.
Updates 5:14 a.m. PT: Adds more detail, 7:08 a.m. PT: Corrects width from miles to meters.