Share article:
Share article:

Earth temporarily has a second (mini) moon

2020 CD3 (not pictured) is probably a C-class asteroid. Credit: Piqsels

Planet Earth has temporarily caught a second (mini) moon, officially called ‘2020 CD3’, in its gravity.

During the night of 15 February, astronomers Kacper Wierzchos and Teddy Pruyne, of the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey project, stumbled upon an object with a diameter of between 1.90 and 3.50 metres orbiting our planet.

On 25 February, the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union announced the discovery of the mini Moon, which is most likely an asteroid that ended up in orbit around the Earth, making it a natural satellite or a moon.

2020 CD3 is about the size of a car, and is positioned a lot further from our planet than our first moon. It takes about 47 days to orbit around the earth, and is not visible to the naked eye.

It is only the second time that astronomers have discovered a new moon around the Earth. 14 years ago, 2006 RH120 circled the earth for several months before being ejected, which will also happen to this moon.

Elon Musk, who launched a Tesla Roadster into space in February 2018 that is still orbiting the sun, replied to a tweet about the car-sized moon that it was not his.

2020 CD3 is probably a C-class asteroid, which are carbonaceous, dark asteroids that make up 75% of all known asteroids.

The mini moon is expected to return to orbit around the sun in April.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...