Scientists have recently discovered a quasi-satellite called Kamo`oalewa, which follows the Earth's orbit around the Sun, which may be part of the Moon.
Samples of Kamo`oalewa were collected for planning to start the mission in 2025 which went on set.
(469219 Kamoʻoalewa - Orbital period: 366 days - Radius: 20.5 m - Discovered: 27 April 2016 - Absolute magnitude: 24.3 - Orbits: Sun - Asteroid group: Apollo asteroid - Discoverers: B. Gibson, Mark Willman, Thomas Goggia, Natalia Primak, Alfred Bernard Schultz)
To Know About Kamo`Oalewa
Discovered in 2016 (via the PanSTARRS Telescope in Hawaii) Kamo`oalewa is a term that refers to part of the Hawaiian song, meaning the revolving part of space.
It is one of the Earth's semi-satellites, a space rock that orbits the Sun but is relatively close to the planet, about 9 million miles away.
Asteroids are typically the size of a ferris wheel, between 150 and 190 feet in diameter.
Due to its small size (about 50 meters wide) it has become difficult for scientists to study this semi-satellite and so far, very little information was available about it.
Three Consequential Possibilities
Due to the potential impact, it will be separated from the Moon and orbit the Sun instead of the Earth, like its source planets or satellites.
The spectrum of light reflected from Kamo`oalewa is similar to that of the rocks obtained by NASA's Apollo mission and may have originated from the moon.
It is in an unusual orbit, as it would be impossible for objects in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter to come close to Earth.
Researchers are still unsure how the lunar fragment came into space, partly because there were no other known asteroids at the time of the Moon's origin. However, they have narrowed the timeline of catastrophic events from 100,000 to 500 years ago.
Near the Earth Object:
Capture in Earth-like orbit from a near-Earth object-similarity region.
Trojan Asteroids from Earth:
It originated from a semi-stable population of Trojan asteroids on Earth that is still undefined (a group of Trojan asteroids that share an orbit with a larger planet).
Near Earth Objects (NEO):
‘Near Earth Object’ (NEO) refers to a comet or asteroid that is brought into orbit by the gravity of nearby planets, allowing them to come closer to Earth.
These asteroids are mostly composed of ice and dust particles.
NEOs sometimes come close to the earth as they orbit the sun.
NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Study (CNEOS) uses the Asteroid Watch Widget to determine the time and distance of these objects when they are closest to Earth.
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