New Mini-Moon: an Asteroid of 12 Feet in Diameter Orbiting Earth


An asteroid the size of a washing machine is temporarily captured by Earth’s gravity and one day it will fly out of the orbit. 

This asteroid is confirmed to be a mini-moon and has a surface brightness of C-type asteroids. It is orbiting our planet three years now, and is called 2020 CD3. Catalina Sky Survey, a NASA founded project, discovered 2020 CD3 on February 15, 2020. It is only the second one that is orbiting Earth.

When the Catalina Sky Survey team calculated its orbital trajectory, they stated that the asteroid entered Earth’s orbit about 3 years ago. The International Astronomical Union classified it as a temporary captured object. 

The asteroid is about 6.2 feet and 11.4 feet (1.9-3.5 meters) in diameter and most likely going to resume orbiting the Sun sometime in April. 

Only last year our temporary mini-moon fell from the sky over Australia. When it was seen first time in 2016, astronomers considered it to be a normal meteor, but it was actually circling the Earth. 

There was just one another mini-moon (2006 RH12O) discovered in 2006. It was about the size of a car. It didn’t fell on the Earth but actually resumed orbiting the Sun after just one year being our third mini-moon.


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