Earth found to have a second 'Moon', but it won't be around forever

Researchers have discovered that Earth has a second 'Moon' that isn't very large at all, and it also won't stay around forever.

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Researchers have located a temporary second "moon" floating around Earth in a strange fashion, according to a new study published in Nature Magazine.

Earth found to have a second 'Moon', but it won't be around forever 01

The new study details an object that is circling Earth in a corkscrew-like trajectory, and this object is dubbed Kamo'oalewa, which in Hawaiian means "moving celestial object". Kamo'oalewa was first discovered back in 2016 and became the smallest stable quasi-satellite of Earth, measuring in at just 164 feet in diameter. The space rock was believed to be a small asteroid, but according to results from the newly published study, it appears that Kamo'oalewa is a fragment of our Moon.

The researchers compared lunar sample data retrieved from the Apollo 14 mission (1971) to Kamo'oalewa data and found that the results match. The team of researchers proposed that the moon-fragment likely came from a meteor collision that occurred on the surface of resulting in this piece of "lunar material" being broken off towards Earth. Ben Sharkey of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, and the lead author on the study, said that Kamo'oalewa won't be around forever as estimations indicate that after 300 years, it will break its orbit and journey out into space.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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