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Vue d'artiste du quasi-satellite terrestre Kamoʻoalewa près du système Terre-Lune. À l'aide du grand télescope binoculaire, les astronomes ont montré qu'il pourrait s'agir d'un fragment perdu de la Lune. © Addy Graham, University of Arizona

Earth’s semi-satellite asteroid is believed to be a piece of the moon

(469219) Kamoʻoalewa is the official name of the Earth’s half-moon and, according to some astronomers, this semi-satellite of our blue planet is no less than a fraction of the moon.

Now theAsteroid 2016 HO3 Returns to the front of the stage. First diagnosed on April 27, 2016 Telescope A study of Bon-Stars 1 asteroids in Halekala, Hawaii, which not only belongs to the Apollo asteroid family. Of course, this is one of more than 14,000 items of this type known to date NEOs No I ‘Around the circular path The ellipse has a semi-large axis, which is definitely greater than 1 UA And distance to the sun Perihelion It is less than 1.017 AU. But 2016 HO3 is mostly a satellite of the Earth, i.e. its even if it orbits the Sun. Movement Makes it move around for a while as it orbits the earth.

Animation (in green) of the orbit around the Sun of the 2016 HO3 object. This small asteroid is expected to be a satellite of the Earth for several hundred years. © NASA, JBL

Since its discovery, 2016 HO3 meanwhile has officially become (469219) Kamoʻoalewa, derived from the Hawaiian language and a Slogans Creation that represents the offspring traveling alone. We know that its size will be some ten to a hundred meters. So this is a bad glowing object Astronomers The large binocular binoculars on Mount Graham in southern Arizona began to read it through a powerful telescope. It is also known as LBT in English Large binocular telescope. It has two mirrors with a diameter of 8.4 meters, placed on the same hill. Kamoʻoalewa is actually 4 million times weakerStar Weaker thanEye Man can see in the dark sky. But with such large collection glasses, it is possible to concentrate enough light to read e.g. Spectrum The surface of the object.

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Expelled from lunar impact?

A team of astronomers, led by Ben Sharkey, a graduate student in planetary science at the University of Arizona, came to a surprising conclusion while trying to better identify its composition. This was revealed in an article published in a popular magazine Natural Contacts Earth and the Environment.

For almost three years Ben Sharkey and his colleagues worked to prove that what he saw could not be true, and in the end it brought not only possibility but also possibilities.

The ghost of Reflected light On the surface of Kamoʻoalewa it only corresponds Lunar rocks were brought back to Earth by Apollo missions. No spectrum matched that of other asteroids close to Earth.

Another characteristic of Kamoʻoalewa argues for lunar origin, the orbit of which is not common to other NEOs. Therefore, we will be in the presence of an ejected region on an undetermined date due to the impact on the surface of a portion of our satellite. நிலா. This is nothing unusual because we see it on earth Meteors Its appearance is undoubtedly the moon compared to the rocksApollo.

Astronomers believe that for another 300 years Camoleva will not be a satellite of the Earth. Would have come into this orbit about 500 years ago. Still, we still have plenty of time to pay a little visit to him – The Chinese have a plan.

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