Astronomy and related mythology
Earth has a Second Moon and its Orbit Follows an Unusual Pattern (Video) Tags: Astronomy Cruithne

Near-Earth Asteroid 3753 Cruithne

Video - I bet you didn’t know that Earth has what could be called a second moon. What we’re most familiar with is the one moon that we all know, love and celebrate. But our moon is not the only natural satellite orbiting the Earth.

In 1997, another quasi-orbital satellite of Earth was discovered. It is called 2753 Cruithne. What makes this astroid interesting is that it doesn’t orbit the Earth in a perfect ellipse, but follows what is called a “horseshoe” orbit. What’s even more fascinating is that it takes nearly 800 years for Cruithne to complete one horseshoe orbit around Earth. Here’s what this means:

“A body on a simple horseshoe orbit around the Earth moves toward it, then turns round and moves away. Once it’s moved so far away it’s approaching Earth from the other side, it turns around and moves away again.”

Still don’t get it. Below is a video that shows what Cruithne’s orbit might look like if Earth was stationary. And why should we consider Cruithne our second moon? Astronomers refer to two of Saturn’s natural satellites that follow this configuration as moons, so why shouldn’t we claim Cruithne is our second moon.



Milky Way Black Hole Jets Confirmed; Fastest Brown Dwarfs Seen; Golden Age of Astronomy: SFN #120 Tags: Deep Space

Published on 22 Nov 2013 by Deep Astronomy

Don't forget to check out the live ISON Hangout from Goddard and SDO, watch ISON pass around the Sun live:

Here are the links to this week's episode:
Sagittarius A* Jet:

Fast Brown Dwarfs:


Comet ISON Break-Up Pose A Threat? | Video Tags: Comet ISON

Published on 19 Sep 2013 by VideoFromSpace

As the possible 'comet of the century' approaches its date with the Sun (Nov. 28th, 2013), the chances of its break-up will increase exponentially. The comet is not on a trajectory to hit the Earth. What will happen to pieces that may break away?

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