NASA Mini Moon Discovery: NASA Scientist Discovers New Mini Moon in Solar System Orbiting Asteroid

Washington: There are many moons in our solar system, although we can only see one from Earth because only one natural moon orbits Earth. Similarly, astronomers may have just discovered a hitherto unknown ‘mini-moon’ in the Solar System. It is a rocky mass orbiting a small asteroid near the planet Jupiter. This celestial sphere is slightly wider than Manhattan in the United States. If the rocky moon is confirmed to be a moon, it would be the smallest moon ever observed. This ‘mini moon’ was discovered by scientists working on NASA’s Lucy mission.

The American space agency NASA has sent spacecraft under the Lucy mission to study some of the Trojan asteroids, two giant celestial rock masses that orbit Jupiter. The Lucy probe was launched on October 16, 2021 and will reach the Trojan asteroids in late 2027. Meanwhile, it will spend some time in the asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter.

The mini moon is only 5 km wide
Until then, scientists are learning more about these mysterious asteroids to determine where the probe will be most useful. The newly discovered satellite is about 5 km in diameter. It is located 201 km from the 27 km wide asteroid. At the time of discovery, the asteroid was 772 million kilometers from Earth. The term ‘moon’ can be used to refer to any solid natural object that orbits a planet, asteroid or asteroid, hence it is called a ‘mini-moon’.

More than 200 satellites have been discovered so far
According to NASA, more than 200 moons have been discovered in the solar system so far, not including the moons of asteroids. But their actual number is much higher than that. Researchers have only been able to see this object for a moment, so its orbital path is very uncertain. Hence, scientists have not yet confirmed the celestial body as ‘Moon’ and have not given it another name.

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