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Earth has another moon -- study

At any given time there could be a secret moon orbiting Earth. These objects usually make three revolutions in about 10 months.

Earth has always had two moons orbiting it at any one time, claims a new study.

The astronomers have found that Earth’s gravitational pull captures at least one small celestial object of 1-meter diameter passing nearby.

It is still not clear how gravitational system captures the object but, Mikael Granvik of Cornell University said that “there should be at least one natural Earth satellite of 1-meter diameter orbiting the Earth”.

The discovery
The researchers discovered an object named RH120 in September 2006, orbiting the Earth which turned out to be a small asteroid just few meters wide. The object kept on orbiting till 2007 before moving out from Earth’s gravitational field.

This discovery has a vast implication as NASA is looking to send astronauts to asteroids in the near future.

The research is based on the study of only one celestial object RH120, as mentioned in the research paper.

At any given time there could be a secret moon orbiting Earth. These objects usually make three revolutions in about 10 months.

Asteroid mission
This discovery has a vast implication as NASA is looking to send astronauts to asteroids in the near future.

Sending them to asteroids revolving in Earth’s orbit instead millions mile away is a much feasible and safer option.

The research team said, “The scientific potential of being able to first remotely characterize a meteoroid and then visit and bring it back to Earth would be unprecedented.”

The study is published on the website of the Cornell University.