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Scientists suggest that an asteroid close to Earth may be part of the moon

One study suggested that the asteroid Kamo’oalewa It may be a missing part of the moon, because its spectrum matches moon rocks on NASA’s Apollo missions.

Science Newsroom, November 13 (EFE). – Close to newsroom Earth orbiting the asteroid Kamo’oalewa, which is unknown, although it may be some kind of Luna employment miniature, missing part of The satellite natural >> adjective, refers to a published study Nature Communications Earth and Environment.

The asteroid It is about the size of a Ferris wheel – between 45 and 57 meters in diameter – and it approaches about 14 million kilometers from Earth Its brightness is also about four million times fainter than the darkest star that the human eye can see in a dark sky, making it difficult to detect.

baptized in the name of Kamo’oalewa, which alludes to a calf traveling alone in Hawaiian lore, was discovered in 2016 by a telescope Pan Stars from that island.

that it quasi-satellite, a Asteroid subclass that revolves around the Sun, but remains relatively close to the Earth. Some things that little is known about because they are weak and difficult to observe.

In fact, because of its orbit, this asteroid It can only be observed in April, and its size means it can only be seen from that telescope in Hawaii, one of the largest on Earth.

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A team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona studied the asteroid to try to give an answer to its origin and discovered that the pattern of light reflected from Camu Aliwa, called the spectrum, matches moon rocks From the Apollo missions in NASA, indicating that it originated on the moon.

The team can’t yet be sure of how it turned out and why, in part, they don’t know anything else original lunar asteroids.

After three years of research and observations, interrupted last year by COVID-19, the team found, in 2021, what they consider the final piece of the puzzle.

orbit Camu Aliwa It is further evidence of its lunar origin, as it is similar to Earth’s, but with a slight tilt, which is not typical for asteroids close to our planet, according to Renu Malhotra, co-author of the study and professor of planetary sciences at the University of Arizona.

“It’s very unlikely” that a near-Earth asteroid would spontaneously move into a close orbit like this one, Malhotra said.

However, she is not expected to remain long on this path, only about another 300 years, while they estimate that she held this position for 500 years.