According to a new study, Earth seems involved of bad, bad Christmas presents. Every year our planet seems to snap up a moon, but it usually doesn’t take it more than 12 months to tired of it and send it hurtling out into space again. Then it picks up another moon, but less than twelve months later, it grows bored with that one, and round and round we go. Oh, that’s a really poor pun isn’t it? Well, point for me then!
The new study in question has been published on arxiv.org and is called “The Population of Natural Earth Satellites”.
In it, Mikael Granvik, Jeremie Vaubaillon and Robert Jedicke talk of how Earth, at any given time, has what they term a ‘temporarily captured orbiter’.
The reason you haven’t noticed this is that the objects in question are quite a bit smaller than the object we know as our Moon. Actually they’re usually not more than a metre in diameter.
One such object was the asteroid 2006 RH120 which was discovered in 2006.