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You are here News Science Earth’s Quasi-Satellite Kamooalewa Could Be Fragment of the Moon

Earth’s Quasi-Satellite Kamooalewa Could Be Fragment of the Moon

Kamooalewa orbiting earth

Earth’s quasi-satellites are a class of near-Earth bodies that orbit the Sun but remain close to our home planet, because they are faint and difficult to observe.

Kamo’oalewa is the most stable of the five known quasi-satellites of the Earth, with a dynamical lifetime of a few hundred years.

Also designated as 2016 HO3, the asteroid was discovered in 2016 by astronomers using the PanSTARRS telescope.

Kamo’oalewa is between 46 and 58 m (150-190 feet) in diameter, and gets as close as about 14.5 million km (9 million miles) from Earth.

As a quasi-satellite, its orbit is very Earth-like, with semi-major axis within 0.001 AU of Earth’s, a low eccentricity of just 0.1, and a modest inclination of about 8 degrees to the ecliptic.

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