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(24,393 posts)
Sat Jun 18, 2016, 12:32 PM Jun 2016

A stupid rock is following the Earth around. [View all]

Last edited Sat Jun 18, 2016, 06:27 PM - Edit history (1)

Well, this is awkward. Earth's relationship with the moon is no longer a monogamous one. Scientists have identified a second, mini-moon orbiting our planet that has probably only been around for about 100 years, reports NASA.

This second moon looks to be a recently captured asteroid, and like a mistress, its subtle dance with Earth may be fleeting, only sticking around for a few centuries. Still, it's a remarkable event that proves just how dynamic our gravitational relationship is with near-Earth objects.

The video above showcases in detail the path of the new moon's orbit as it bobs up and down like a tiny float in choppy water. As said, it's small, measuring in at only around 120 feet across and no more than 300 feet wide, which is probably why it has taken so long for scientists to spot it. (It was only just spotted last April.) Its distance from Earth varies from between 38 and 100 times the distance of our planet’s primary moon.

The quasi-satellite was given the label of asteroid 2016 HO3, though surely it ought to be in line for a more charismatic title sometime soon. Scientists also assure that the space rock is no threat to our planet or to our main squeeze, the moon.

More here.

It needs a name.

Moony McMoonerson?
105 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
How about Mooner? nt LostOne4Ever Jun 2016 #1
Mini Moon. NV Whino Jun 2016 #2
Mini Moonpie if this "moon" has been around for a hundred years, that's about the same Uncle Joe Jun 2016 #43
Warren. eom lastlib Jun 2016 #75
*satellite. n/t X_Digger Jun 2016 #3
It's not a moon PJMcK Jun 2016 #53
Its almost square dancing. BootinUp Jun 2016 #4
An asteroid doesy doe? n/t A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #11
"Homewrecker" Night Watchman Jun 2016 #5
I didn't need to know that. But congratulations? n/t Aerows Jun 2016 #8
HEH! Night Watchman Jun 2016 #9
I'm happy for you. Aerows Jun 2016 #13
LOL! Night Watchman Jun 2016 #15
It's a good thing I didn't put up a geology story. A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #17
I think I'm gonna Die! Night Watchman Jun 2016 #20
::::Cops show up at Night Watchmans door:::: A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #25
If anything would make someone *rock hard*... NuclearDem Jun 2016 #23
Just don't post any National Geo pics. Lochloosa Jun 2016 #102
tmi uponit7771 Jun 2016 #30
"Bad Moon" pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #42
That's stunning. Who discovered it. Are prizes in order? That's a huge discovery. brush Jun 2016 #6
I thought you were going to say Moony Mc Moonface. hollysmom Jun 2016 #7
Too close to a recent sea going vessel! n/t A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #10
Obviously "Moon Jr" (nt) Nye Bevan Jun 2016 #12
Be careful! Trump is going to buy that property and build Trump Plaza there! imanamerican63 Jun 2016 #14
I like MooneyMcMoonFace. lonestarnot Jun 2016 #16
Merry Christmas Sci Fi writers. Baitball Blogger Jun 2016 #18
If it is discovered to have water...... A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #22
(HO)^3 spud_demon Jun 2016 #56
Hagar leveymg Jun 2016 #19
"Moonette" Tikki Jun 2016 #21
Claire de Lune? Surya Gayatri Jun 2016 #24
Call it "Kermit" Scientific Jun 2016 #26
Only if it's green. A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #27
It's a sidekick....so..... Liberalagogo Jun 2016 #28
I like your avatar photo red dog 1 Jun 2016 #31
:) wallyworld2 Jun 2016 #81
K&R! red dog 1 Jun 2016 #29
Luna Minor NBachers Jun 2016 #32
When I saw the headline I thought the moon would be orange bucolic_frolic Jun 2016 #33
Mother Earth is female. Not saying they both Hortensis Jun 2016 #34
Damn! Now we'll have to rewrite all those popular songs! KansDem Jun 2016 #35
"...the Mississippi Moons is just as bright." Eleanors38 Jun 2016 #46
That's the ticket! KansDem Jun 2016 #51
I nominate "Sailor" n/t OnlinePoker Jun 2016 #36
Moonie McMoonface Martin Eden Jun 2016 #37
Call it Papa. chknltl Jun 2016 #38
100% wrong headline is 100% wrong... DRoseDARs Jun 2016 #39
Bad science writing is getting to be orbitual. nt pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #40
The revolution will not be televised. Orrex Jun 2016 #80
*snort* TwilightZone Jun 2016 #84
It will, however, be aired on Sirius Satellite Radio pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #86
Apogee accepted. Orrex Jun 2016 #88
And the link to the NASA story the author includes in the FIRST paragraph says exactly that..... A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #45
YOU chose to link to the science-illiterate instead of the actual NASA source... DRoseDARs Jun 2016 #50
There's a bigger problem PJMcK Jun 2016 #54
"Transparent dodge"?!? Oh, for fucks sake. A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #55
To care so much about The Science and then turn around and call you a birther is just special. Rex Jun 2016 #60
"I was on to you from the very beginning, of time. " A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #63
I had nothing against how you originally posted it, but I do like your new title muriel_volestrangler Jun 2016 #61
.... A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #94
That's never stopped DU from jumping on a bandwagon. n/t Crunchy Frog Jun 2016 #100
The moon is a quarter million miles away and this pebble is nine million miles away.... Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2016 #41
Moony McMoonbeam FairWinds Jun 2016 #44
Looks like a swash plate in an old GM air conditioner compressor. Eleanors38 Jun 2016 #47
I don't know why, but this comment wins the thread! N/t A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #48
Thanks, I think. Eleanors38 Jun 2016 #49
Muad'Dib thelordofhell Jun 2016 #52
Win! n/t KatyMan Jun 2016 #57
R#39 & K for, best thread title. n/t UTUSN Jun 2016 #58
Stupid Moon? Rex Jun 2016 #59
Any Murakami fans? A second moon appears... lostnfound Jun 2016 #62
We should call it "Palinite". Initech Jun 2016 #64
They may find that's what it is composed of! A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #66
No, that would be awoke_in_2003 Jun 2016 #104
Insignificant, erratic, doesn't stay around long SCantiGOP Jun 2016 #67
KEITH underpants Jun 2016 #72
This news weights heavily upon our world, but not for long. L. Coyote Jun 2016 #65
And then the little rock will search the Solar System..... A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #68
It's a big stupid rock Warpy Jun 2016 #69
All I got was a rock... Liberalagogo Jun 2016 #70
As it's just a Moon Unit Wolf Frankula Jun 2016 #71
Odd that this pops up today... awoke_in_2003 Jun 2016 #73
Episode 1! longship Jun 2016 #92
I always liked Landau. nt awoke_in_2003 Jun 2016 #97
Oh my - things you find when looking up other stuff csziggy Jun 2016 #105
Little Luna? bearssoapbox Jun 2016 #74
Wanda pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #76
My pet rock? applegrove Jun 2016 #77
Looney. ErikJ Jun 2016 #78
Lunita Lobo27 Jun 2016 #79
"Welcome to Earth, third rock from the..." make that the fourth, fourth rock from the sun. jtuck004 Jun 2016 #82
Lunaki k8conant Jun 2016 #83
The origin of our regular moon is fascinating. moriah Jun 2016 #85
Interesting indeed. A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #93
This message was self-deleted by its author Mosby Jun 2016 #87
Parvulus. roamer65 Jun 2016 #89
Elegant. A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #90
Hope it isn't named "Melancholia" jimlup Jun 2016 #91
Loved that movie! Helen Borg Jun 2016 #98
They could call our little buddy 'Gilligan' pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #95
Or "Dweezil" A HERETIC I AM Jun 2016 #96
A "stupid rock"? They launched Trump into orbit? jmowreader Jun 2016 #99
I suggest "Keith"... Godot51 Jun 2016 #101
It needs a name. AlbertCat Jun 2016 #103
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