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The new “mini moon” that the earth will capture may just be space junk




12:30 am CDT, Wednesday, September 23, 2020


This “mini moon” article captured by the earth may be just space junk and originally appeared on CNET.com.

We have a huge moon looming, and you might think “enough satellites”. But sometimes, the earth becomes greedy and begins to pull in asteroids to extend its stay in orbit. Short visits by these “mini moons” are quite rare, and have only been confirmed twice so far. The most recent happened on February 15th, when the compact 2020 CD3 Discovered by astronomers In the Catalina Sky Survey funded by NASA. Glorious mini moon As early as 2015, I was trapped by the gravity of the earth, and stayed until May 2020, and then rushed into the universe again.


But in an unprecedented 2020, astronomers announced the detection of another potential mini moon: 2020 SO.



Except for this, it does not act like an asteroid at all. Our little moon has no moon at all. Its moving speed is too slow to be ejected from cosmic objects. Therefore, astronomers believe that this may just be the space junk left over from the early days of the space race.

Current theory believes that 2020 SO is the rocket body of the Atlas Centaur-D rocket originally launched in 1966. The rocket was launched on September 20, carrying the Surveyor 2 lunar lander to the moon. The dimensions and orbit of the 2020 SO released by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory appear to be neatly aligned with the body of the Centaur.



The object will be captured under the gravity of the Earth in October and will be the closest to it on December 1, close to 31,000 miles. Astronomers should be able to observe objects more closely, assess their shape and the type of light emitted.

If it is the Centaur stage-if it is garbage-it is still interesting garbage. It has disappeared, wandering in the solar system for more than fifty years. We may be able to understand the influence of some space on our old rocket bodies.Although as far as we know, it will not cause any problems to the earth, but it can be timely Remind the space junk problem.


Since we started launching rockets and satellites into orbit, we have been polluting the space around the earth. Not everything that goes up will disappear immediately. Thousands of space junk, missing satellites and small pieces of junk revolve around the earth at extremely fast speeds. A collision with a piece of junk can be devastating, blowing a hole directly in the rocket or satellite. More launches means more garbage, and more garbage brings greater risks to space, satellites and our desire to occupy space.

You don’t even have to look back for more than 24 hours to see potential problems caused by space debris. Tuesday, The International Space Station had to carry out “mobile combustion” Avoid a piece of unknown cosmic garbage rushing towards it.


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