“Does earth have a second moon?”-EarthSky

“3753 Cruithne in 2001. Astronomer Duncan Waldron discovered this faint asteroid on October 10, 1986, on a photographic plate taken with the UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Image via Sonia Keys via Wikimedia Commons.”

EarthSky reports that, “Earth does sometimes have temporary moons.”  Asteroid 3753 Cruithne is said to be traveling in common orbit with the earth.  This article reports that:

“The most famous quasi-satellite in our time – and an object you might have heard called a second moon for Earth – is 3753 Cruithne. This object is five kilometers – about three miles – wide. Notice it has an asteroid name. That’s because it is an asteroid orbiting our sun, one of several thousand asteroids whose orbits cross Earth’s orbit. Astronomers discovered Cruithne in 1986, but it wasn’t until 1997 that they figured out its complex orbit. It’s not a second moon for Earth; it doesn’t orbit Earth. But Cruithne is co-orbiting the sun with Earth. Like all quasi-satellites, Cruithne orbits the sun once for every orbit of Earth.”

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