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Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Earth's "Second Moon"

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From (March 3, 2015):

Excerpt from the article:

Bet You Didn’t Know About the Earth’s "Second Moon": Even astronomers didn’t realize it was following the Earth until 1997

The Moon isn’t alone in the sky. Sure, we’ve launched hundreds of man-made objects into the space around Earth, but even before we got there, Earth and the Moon had a little companion. This tiny, rocky world is named 3753 Cruithne, which comes from Old Irish and refers to the early Irish people and their king, Cruidne. You can forgive your parents and your grade-school teachers for not mentioning it though: The object was only discovered in 1986 and its orbit mapped in 1997.

Cruithne is technically not a moon but a quasi-orbital satellite of Earth. Duncan Forgan, a researcher at the University of St Andrews, in Fife, Scotland, explains....

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