A team of astronomers recently discovered an object that for 2100 years supports our planet.
A recently detected asteroid dubbed 2023 FW13was considered by astronomers to be a “quasi-moon” or “quasi-satellite”since it orbits the Sun in a time frame similar to that of the Earth, although it is only slightly influenced by the gravitational force of our planet.
According to experts, this cosmic body will continue to move around our planet until around 3700 AD.
He the asteroid is only 15 meters (50 feet) in diameter and is located at a distance of approximately 14 million kilometers (9 million miles) from Earth. Very small, compared to the size of our Moon, which is 3,478 kilometers in diameter.
It was first seen on March 28, 2023 by the Pan-STARRS Survey Telescope, located atop Haleakalā, a dormant volcano on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Afterwards, the presence of the asteroid has been confirmed using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii, as well as the Kitt Peak National Observatory and the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter in Arizona.
On April 1, it was officially listed by the International Astronomical Union’s Center for Minor Planets, an organization responsible for designating new planets, moons and other astronomical objects in our solar system.
Does this quasi-moon represent a danger for the Earth?
Typically, these asteroids only stay in orbit around Earth for a few decades, before returning to orbit around the Sun on their own. But 2023 FW13 appears to have been orbiting Earth for at least 100 BC. C., which would make it the most stable Earth quasi-satellite ever found.
However, the team of scientists working with the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii reported that the quasi-moon 2023 FW13 poses no danger to the inhabitants of planet Earth.
“2023 FW13 is not associated with Earth other than by chance”, commented Allan Harrisresearcher at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
On the other hand, 2023 FW13 is not the only companion orbiting our planet. Earth has another quasi-moon called Kamo’oalewaor 2016 HO3, which was discovered in 2016. This object is believed to have orbited Earth for almost a century and is expected to remain in orbit for at least 300 more years.
References: Space / Living sciences.
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