MAR 02, 2020 3:55 PM PST

Does the Earth Have a Second Moon?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

If you’ve been paying attention to the headlines as of late, then you might’ve caught wind about the Earth having a second moon. But before you get too excited, it’s worth noting that there are quite a few asterisks involved.

The so-called ‘second moon’ isn’t even slightly comparable to the actual Moon most of us already know and love. In fact, the object is nothing more than an asteroid measuring two-to-four meters across that was captured by Earth’s gravitational pull. Moreover, the object is so dark that it resembles a wet asphalt road; this makes spotting it in the night sky virtually impossible with the unaided eye.

The object’s actual name is 2020 CD3, and astronomers approximate that the object may have been captured by the Earth’s gravity as recently as 2017. Unfortunately, the object won’t be around long. Its irregular orbit around our planet means that it will eventually build up enough speed to break free of Earth’s gravity, and astronomers think this could happen as soon as April 2020.

It wouldn’t be the first time that an object like 2020 CD3 has been captured by Earth’s gravity, and it won’t be the last. There are literally countless space rocks residing in our solar system, and every object’s orbital trajectory is always changing based on the gravitational influencers around it.

At some point, another object will find its way close enough to Earth to be snatched out of its natural orbit, and a similar situation will transpire. But when will that happen? We’ll just have to wait to find out…

Related: Here's why NASA needs to build the Lunar Gateway

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Improving the Accuracy of Space Weather Predictions
JUN 08, 2021
Improving the Accuracy of Space Weather Predictions
When magnetized plasma is released from the surface of the sun in a phenomenon known as coronal mass ejections, they can ...
JUL 18, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Climate Change has Tilted the Axis of the Earth
JUL 18, 2021
Climate Change has Tilted the Axis of the Earth
The axis of the Earth intersects the planet at the magnetic pole, and Earth's poles are known to wander. They can even f ...
AUG 05, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Einstein Was Right, Again: X-rays Observed Behind a Black Hole for the First Time
AUG 05, 2021
Einstein Was Right, Again: X-rays Observed Behind a Black Hole for the First Time
  In an astrophysics first, a team of researchers have directly observed light coming from the backside o ...
AUG 16, 2021
Space & Astronomy
'Mega-Comet' on Track to Visit Solar System in 2031
AUG 16, 2021
'Mega-Comet' on Track to Visit Solar System in 2031
Astronomers at the University of Pennsylvania have found an object that's on a trajectory that will take it past Saturni ...
OCT 13, 2021
Space & Astronomy
NASA Plans to Bring Mars Rocks Back to Earth
OCT 13, 2021
NASA Plans to Bring Mars Rocks Back to Earth
In continuing the time-honored tradition of celestial rock collecting, NASA’s Perseverance rover has collected a s ...
NOV 12, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Researchers Reveal Changes in Jupiter's Spot
NOV 12, 2021
Researchers Reveal Changes in Jupiter's Spot
There's a massive storm on Jupiter called the Great Red Spot. It swirls in the planet's Southern Hemisphere, spinning co ...
Loading Comments...