That's no moon! Earth's new asteroid pal proven to not be junk

Astronomers at the University of Arizona confirmed that asteroid 2016 HO3 is not a bunch of space garbage.


NSFW    SPACE — Astronomers have confirmed an asteroid discovered last summer isn't space debris.

Dubbed Earth's "new constant companion" by NASA last summer, 2016 HO3 is a small asteroid orbiting the Sun on a trajectory that overlaps with the planet.

The space agency speculates that it is between 120 and 300 feet in size. Some thought it was actually "space junk" — debris from old rockets and satellites — but new research has confirmed that it is indeed an asteroid.

The asteroid is a quasi-satellite to Earth. It orbits closer to the sun than Earth does in 6-month period, while the rest of time it falls further behind. This is different to natural satellites, such as the Moon, where orbits are tied solely to a planet or a star.

The findings were presented by University of Arizona Professor Vishnu Reddy at the annual Division for Planetary Sciences Conference of the American Astronomical Society in Provo, Utah.
Iceland flips switch on first 'negative emissions' power plant

Facebook Conversation