By Jeffrey Shao
Always wished we had a second Moon? Then you are in luck! NASA scientists from the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) on Mount Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii recently discovered a small asteroid that they believe has been looping Earth for at least a century. But despite its unwavering loyalty to our planet, the researchers have no intention of calling it a moon. Instead, they refer to the asteroid, which has been dubbed 2016 H03, as a “quasi-moon” or “near-earth companion.”
That’s because while the asteroid that is believed to be between 120-ft.(40m) – 300-ft.(100m) in size loops around Earth, its orbit is around the sun! However, since its path closely mimics that of Earth’s, 2016 H03 moves in sync with our planet. According to the researchers, it takes the asteroid 365.93 days (just 16.6 hours longer than Earth) to orbit the sun.
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