There's a New Mini-Moon Currently Orbiting Earth
According to researching, taking a look at the night's sky may come with a surprise this week. According to NBC News, a mini-moon is currently revolving around the Earth. This intergalactic activity comes as a shock to many experts, with one in particular calling out just how notable the discovery is. "BIG NEWS," tweeted Kacper Wierzchos, a researcher with the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Lab. "Earth has a new temporarily captured object/Possible mini-moon called 2020 CD3. On the night of February 15, my Catalina Sky Survey teammate Teddy Pruyne and I found a 20th magnitude object."
The researcher also mentioned that the discovery of this mini-moon is groundbreaking because it's only the second asteroid known to orbit Earth in history. The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center (IAU)—a facility that logs information on asteroids, comets, and satellites— made the official recording of the mini-moon discovery.
In a statement made by the IAU, the organization noted that the mini-moon studies "indicate that this object is temporarily bound to Earth." In addition, "No evidence of perturbations due to solar radiation pressure is seen, and no link to a known artificial object has been found. Further observations and dynamical studies are strongly encouraged," the organization said.
This isn't the only space-related news that has grabbed headlines this month. According to Mental Floss, the moon completely blocked Earth's view of Mars for 14 seconds—one of five times it will happen in 2020—causing us to lose sight of the "Red Planet" until it made its way from the moon after a full 90-minute period.