Earth Usually Has More than One Moon, Study Suggests
Date: 04 April 2012 Time: 07:00 AM ET
"Earthrise" seen by the Apollo 8 astronauts in December 1968.
The huge, bright and iconic moon so beloved by poets and romantics is joined by a rotating cast of captured asteroids that often measure just a few feet across. These mini-moons typically orbit Earth for less than a year before zipping back off into space, researchers said.
The scientists used a French supercomputer to simulate the movements of 10 million near-Earth asteroids as they passed by our planet. They then tracked the trajectories of the 18,000 space rocks that Earth's gravity captured in the simulation.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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