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The Earth has a new minimoon! But not for long…

27 Feb 2020, 14:00 UTC
The Earth has a new minimoon! But not for long… Tony Dunn / Orbit Simulator

On February 15, 2020, a pair of astronomers spotted a faint asteroid moving across their telescope's field of view. This is pretty common — they were observing as part of the Catalina Sky Survey, a collection of three telescopes in Arizona that scans the skies looking for near-Earth objects, asteroids that orbit the Sun and get near Earth.

But this one was different. It's not orbiting the Sun, it's orbiting the Earth!

That makes it a rare object indeed: a minimoon

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