Sometimes they come back. Earth had a mini moon in 2022 and will return for a collision

The object, known as 2022 NX1, will again approach our planet and there is a possibility that they will collide.

On July 2, 2022, scientists at the Lunar Base South Observatory in Namibia discovered an object that was later named 2022 NX1 due to the possibility that it was an asteroid temporarily trapped by our planet’s gravity. However, there was still the possibility that everything was much more prosaic, and this object was nothing more than the remains of some kind of rocket that mankind had forgotten about, writes IFL Science .

It is known that on June 26 last year, the object approached the Earth as close as possible. However, in a new study, scientists have finally found confirmation of 2022 NX1’s natural status, making it a former and future mini-moon with the possibility of a collision in the future.

At Focus. Technologies has its own Telegram channel . Subscribe to not miss the latest and exciting news from the world of science!

Note that sometimes the Earth briefly attracts other objects, known as mini-moons, which fall into its gravity well and linger in it for a while. Scientists assume that this has been happening since the birth of the solar system, but they have only recently been able to discover and understand it. Alas, the ability of scientists to discover mini-satellites coincided with the fact that humanity is throwing thousands of satellites and rocket debris into low Earth orbit, which makes it very difficult to recognize.

For example, two decades ago, J002E3 was thought to be an asteroid until scientists discovered it was the top of the Apollo 12 mission. Based on this, when Grzegorz Dušanovic and Jordi Camarasa discovered 2022 NX1, they couldn’t be sure what they were seeing. Now a new study is revealing the true nature of last year’s find.

Since its discovery, scientists have been arguing about what object 2022 NX1 really is – a piece of a rocket or something really worthwhile. And on August 6, the team still managed to observe it using the Gran Telescopio Canarias telescope – there was no doubt that there was nothing artificial or dropped from the main moon in it.

As a result, scientists came to the conclusion that the object 2022 NX1 is still an asteroid, probably a K-type, and therefore is considered a mini-satellite. The study shows that the object was captured by the Earth’s gravitational field for only 21 days, which is not enough to make a full orbit around the orbit.

The researchers also found that 2022 NX1 was also temporarily captured by our planet’s gravity well twice in the 1980-81 period, and the researchers now speculate that it will return again in 2051. Scientists also note that the probability of its collision with the Earth in the period 2075 is 1.2% and 5-10% in 2122. However, this mini-satellite is very “tiny” – its length is only “from one to three giraffes”, and therefore it is not expected to cause significant damage, although a Chelyabinsk-type detonation cannot be ruled out either.

Scientists also note that the discovery of 2022 NX1 indicates that mini-satellites of the Earth can be more than a few meters and have a heterogeneous composition.

Earlier , Focus wrote that the ESA spacecraft captured the movement of Mercury against the background of the Sun.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button