The origins of the Earth’s SECOND MOON have been unearthed, with astronomers predicting that it would exit orbit in 300 years.


The origins of the Earth’s SECOND MOON have been unearthed, with astronomers predicting that it would exit orbit in 300 years.

A new study may have finally uncovered the enigma behind the genesis of an asteroid known as Earth’s “second moon.”

Kamo’oalewa, the quasi-moon found by scientists at the University of Hawaii in 2016, gets its name from Hawaiian chants that refer to “an offspring that travels on its own.”

The asteroid rounds the Earth in a corkscrew-like trajectory at a distance of around nine million miles, measuring around 50 meters in diameter, or nearly the same size as the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy or the Cinderella Castle in Disney World.

That’s a big contrast from Luna, Earth’s more well-known Moon, which orbits the earth at a distance of 239,000 miles.

The asteroid Kamo’oalewa’s unusual flight path is generated by the Earth’s and the sun’s conflicting gravitational pulls, which alter the asteroid’s motions.

Kamo’oalewa can only be seen from Earth for a few weeks in April due to its orbit. Because of its modest size, it can only be seen using one of the world’s largest telescopes, adding to its mystique.

According to a new study published in Nature conducted by Ben Sharkey of the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, the mystery behind the humble rock’s origins may have finally been revealed.

“It’s mostly driven by the sun’s gravity, but this pattern appears because it’s also—but not quite—on an Earth-like orbit.” So it’s this strange dance,” Sharkey stated in a Kamo’oalewa statement.

While asteroids abound in the vast void above, Kamo’oalewa stands out in terms of look.

Asteroids reflect brilliantly in infrared frequencies, whereas Kamo’oalewa does not. It’s darker, implying that it’s composed of different materials and, as a result, has a different origin.

Sharkey discovered that the Kamo’oalewa pattern of reflected light, known as a spectrum, matches lunar rocks from NASA’s Apollo missions, implying that it originated on the moon itself, using the UArizona-managed Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham.

It’s unknown how it got loose in the first place. This is because no additional asteroids with lunar origins have been discovered.

He explained, “I searched through every near-Earth asteroid spectrum we had access to, and nothing matched.”

Over the course of three years, Sharkey debated with his adviser, UArizona associate professor Vishnu Reddy, over a viable explanation for the rock’s origins.

“We doubted ourselves to death,” Reddy said, adding that the final puzzle piece was discovered in April of this year.

“We got much-needed follow-up observations this spring and were like, ‘Wow, it’s genuine,'” Sharkey said. “With the moon, it’s easier to describe than… Brinkwire News in a Nutshell


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