We know that we have one moon but recently study says another. Shocking story revealed by expert that Earth technically has two natural satellites. Experts used a cutting-edge computer technology to run simulations on the movements of 10 million asteroids that pass close to the planet.
They then compared the simulations against the paths of 18,000 space rocks that have been sucked into the Earth’s orbit. But before you get too excited, this doesn’t mean Earth is actually being orbited by two massive, white moons.
What it means is the planet is being continually circled by more than one natural satellite. Results from the test showed at least one asteroid is generally orbiting Earth at any given time.
But these rocks usually measuring no more than a few feet wide –are nothing compared to the 2,000 mile-diameter moon. These asteroids are on average caught in the orbit for roughly nine months, but scientists say they can be stuck there for decades.
The mini-moons do not have a normal orbit though, with the simulation revealing they twist erratically due to gravitational pull. It is hoped that in the future, one of them could be caught, which experts hope would help shed light on how the solar system was formed.
Study co-author Robert Jedicke, of the University of Hawaii, said: “Mini-moons are scientifically extremely interesting.
“A mini-moon could someday be brought back to Earth, giving us a low-cost way to examine a sample of material that has not changed much since the beginning of our solar system over 4.6 billion years ago.”
Another co-author, Jeremie Vaubaillon of the Paris Observatory, said: “This was one of the largest and longest computations I’ve ever done. “If you were to try to do this on your home computer, it would take about six years.”