Earth’s lone companion – that bright silvery orb we call the Moon – may not be so lonely after all. Scores of unseen mini-moons are now in orbit around Earth, new computer models predict. What’s more, these tiny moons occasionally plummet through our planet’s atmosphere, creating brilliant fireballs, the researchers say.
The findings are based on supercomputer simulations of ten million asteroids known to fly through the Earth-moon system. The models show that objects that circle the sun in orbits similar to Earth’s are likely to be captured as mini-moons.
Read the rest of my story about this new mini-moon research at National Geographic News.
Tags: asteroids, mini-moons
Posted in Meteors, Planets, The Moon | Comments Off