Small asteroid discovered, it’s Earth’s ‘near moon’ – Space & Astronomy

Earth has a new “near-moon”: it’s a small 20-meter-wide asteroid, called 2023 FW13, which also orbits our planet as it orbits the sun. Discovered a few days ago, according to the calculations of amateur astronomers, it will be near the Earth since 100 BC and should remain there until 3700 AD: for this reason it could be the most stable quasi-satellite found so far.

The ancient cosmic stone was first spotted on March 28 thanks to the Pan-Starrs telescope in Hawaii. After further observations by Canada’s France-Hawaii Telescope, Keith Peak National Observatory and Arizona’s Mount Lemon Sky Center, its discovery was made official April 1 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

According to first estimates, 2023 FW13 is about 20 meters wide and follows a very eccentric orbit that ranges in the direction of both Mars and Venus, bringing the asteroid close to Earth every year to the minimum distance set at about 15 million kilometers, without presenting any danger (think Only in that the moon reaches 360 thousand km). 2023 FW13 is not the first object of its kind to be discovered in the cosmic region of the Earth: in 2016 another “semi-satellite” has already been identified, the asteroid 2016 HO3, with estimated dimensions between 40 and 100 meters.

Graphic representation of the path of asteroid 2023 FW1, Earth’s inseparable companion (Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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