. 24/7 Space News .
Earth will soon forever lose its 'second moon', astronomers say
by Lilia Dergacheva
Moscow (Sputnik) Feb 01, 2021

illustration only

NASA has confirmed that the enigmatic object, 2020 SO, is the remains of a Centaur rocket booster from the mid 20th century Space Age, adding that the orbiting space junk can be classified as a mini-moon to our planet.

Near-Earth orbiting object 2020 SO, informally dubbed by astronomers "the planet's second moon", is expected to pass at a relatively close distance to our planet on 2 February prior to winging away into space, as our Earth's gravity will ultimately ease off its hold on the object, according to EarthSky. Some time in March 2021, the space trash will adopt instead a solar orbit.

Astronomers first noticed 2020 SO in September 2020, taking note of the unusually low speed and trajectory indicated by orbit models.

The models showed at the time that Earth would briefly grasp the object and hold it in orbit as if it were a new mini-moon. On 8 November, 2020 SO was indeed photographed by telescopes going around our planet.

Follow-up analysis on its motion, along with a very close approach (just 30,000 miles, 50,000 km or 0.13 lunar-distances) on 1 December, 2020, led NASA to confirm that the object is a relic from the dawn of the Space Age; the remains of a 1960s Surveyor rocket booster used in American moon missions.

The Virtual Telescope Project in Rome will provide an online farewell to the object on the night of 1 February, for all interested stargazers and lovers of astronomy.

Source: RIA Novosti

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

D-Orbit's ION satellite carrier rides SpaceX's Falcon 9 to orbit
Fino Mornasco, Italy (SPX) Jan 26, 2021
On January 24th, 2021, at 4:00 pm CET, D-Orbit, the first space logistics company on the market, launched another ION Satellite Carrier atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida. On the same day, 1 hour 16 minutes and 28 seconds the vehicle was successfully deployed into a polar orbit. The spacecraft, named ION SCV Laurentius, is an upgraded and enhanced version of the vehicle launched in the fall of 2020, which p ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Spacewalk to fit ground-breaking British kit to ISS

NASA spacewalk partially hooks up new science platform

Exposing unmentionable human functions in space

ISS crew member reveals difficulties of filming virtual reality documentary in space

NASA Marshall, SpaceX team celebrates engines of success

Hot Fire met many objectives, test assessment underway

Rocket Lab demonstrates new orbital maneuvering capability

Iodine thruster could slow space junk accumulation

Purdue scientist ready for Mars rover touchdown

NASA's Perseverance Rover 22 days from Mars landing

MAVEN continues to advance Mars science and telecommunications relay efforts

Six things to know about NASA's Mars helicopter on its way to Mars

China's space station core module, cargo craft pass factory review

China's space tracking ship completes satellite launch monitoring

Key modules for China's next space station ready for launch

Major space station components cleared for operations

Barbs fly over satellite projects from Musk, Bezos

Sirius XM says its newest satellite has malfunctioned

MDA appoints new VP of Satellite Systems

UN and UK sign agreement to promote space sustainability

Simulating space at ESA's Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory

Ions in molten salts can go 'against the flow'

Record-breaking laser may help test Einstein's theory of relativity

In search of stable liquids

First six-star system where all six stars undergo eclipses

TESS discovers four exoplanets orbiting a nearby sun-like star

Peering inside the birthplaces of planets orbiting the smallest stars

Puzzling six-exoplanet system with rhythmic movement challenges theories of how planets form

A Hot Spot on Jupiter

The 15th Anniversary of New Horizons Leaving Earth

Juno mission expands into the future

Dark Storm on Neptune reverses direction, possibly shedding a fragment

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.