A newly scientific discovery claims that there is a small asteroid that was found in an orbit located around the sun. Moreover, this asteroid is seen as a continuous friend that accompanies the sun around the hour. In fact, it will stay like that for centuries to come. Scientist are saying that this asteroid appears as being the second moon. Keep on reading as we give you further details about the 2016 HO3.
Can we consider it a satellite?
As it cycles around the sun, the 2016 HO3, looks like it is cycling around the planet Earth as well. However, this strange body can’t be called a satellite because it is too far away from the planet earth. However, it is the most appropriate to be known as a near-Earth companion, or “quasi-satellite.”
Comments of NASA’s manager
Paul Chodas is the manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO), he Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Paul commented on this new discovery: “Since 2016 HO3 loops around our planet, but never ventures very far away as we both go around the sun, we refer to it as a quasi-satellite of Earth,” “One other asteroid — 2003 YN107 — followed a similar orbital pattern for a while over 10 years ago, but it has since departed our vicinity. This new asteroid is much more locked onto us. Our calculations indicate 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth’s companion for centuries to come.”
For how much time will it stay there?
Each year, the 2016 HO3 takes about half of the time closer to the sun than Earth and passes ahead of our planet, and about half of the time farther away, causing it to fall behind. However, when it comes to its orbit, it is titled a little bit which causes it to make a short move up and then after that a short one down once each year through Earth’s orbital plane. As a result, it will stay for hundreds of years.