Temporary moon

February 15, 2020, in the framework of the review of Catalina using the 1.5-meter telescope installed on mount Lemmon in Arizona (USA), opened the unusual near-earth asteroid.

Already on the first estimated orbit of the new object related to many of the families of near-earth asteroids — the family of the Amur river, astronomers have determined that it may be temporary a natural satellite (or quasispherical) of our planet.

The three-body problem

The asteroid, subsequently received a working designation CD3 2020, made a close approach with Earth on 13 February and was discovered already in the escape trajectory. Convergence was extraordinary.

First, the asteroid was only 40.7 thousand kilometers from the Earth’s surface, just above geostationary satellites over the southern coast of Africa. Secondly, it was extremely low-level convergence.

At the time of opening 2020 CD3 had a speed relative to the Earth only 1.5 kilometers per second! Recall that the escape velocity for Earth is 11.2 kilometers per second — it allows the object to overcome the pull of the planet.

The object moving with such a low radial velocity, must be on a closed orbit near the earth, or rather the orbit around the center of the system Earth-Moon. Thus, the Earth, albeit for a short time, a new tiny natural satellite in size from one to three meters.

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