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Investigators reveal that the Earth may have a new temporary "mini moon"

A small dot in the sky is puzzling the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) astronomers in the United States. Researchers at the institution run by NASA say Earth may have a new temporary mini moon.

According to Kacper Wierzchos and Theodore Pruyne, the researchers behind the discovery, the mini moon is an asteroid that is trapped in Earth's gravitational field. The 2020 CD3 space body measures between one and six meters.

The discovery of the new space object has already been confirmed by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) of the International Astronomical Union. The MPC claims that the 2020 CD3 entered orbit around the Earth three years ago and, although more research is needed in relation to the space object, it predicts that the asteroid will return to its original course soon.

New 2020 CD3 orbit diagram. Credits: Kacper Wierzchos

2020 CD3 is not the first asteroid to be captured by Earth's gravitational field. In 2006, Catalina Sky Survey astronomers discovered a similar space body. According to the MCP, the 2006 RH120 was in orbit around the Earth for 18 months between 2006 and 2007.