NASA recently announced that we have a second moon. It’s new to us, but has been around for over a century. Its orbit is so irregular it is said to do a little dance around our planet. Does that make it more romantic than our familiar moon? Probably not, since it is so far away and so small we can’t see it. It varies between 14 million and 40 million kilometers from our lovers lanes while our old moon is less than 400,000 kilometers from our songwriters.
It is called by some a mini-moon because of its small size of at most 91 meters across. It boggles my mind to think we have detected something so small and so far. The announcement of NASA”s discovery added that it is actually an asteroid and also describes it as a quasi-satellite with the prefix ‘quasi’ because of the great distance. However, one definition of a moon is a body that orbits a planet, which this discovery does, namely ours. It needs a new name as it’s currently called 2016 HO3.
Feel free to put your suggestions for a name for our “new moon” in the Reply. I volunteer to send on the best ones. I thought of Lunette and Lunina.
“Researchers first noticed 2016 HO3 on April 27 with the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii. That telescope is funded by the thoroughly badass-sounding ‘Planetary Defence Coordination Office’, which tracks near-Earth objects.” See Article by Rafi Leftzer of Business Insider Click to see video of Lunina’s orbit.