New Theory on the Enigmatic All-Object Kamo’Olewa: Is It a Piece of the Moon?

New Theory on the Enigmatic All-Object Kamo'Olewa: Is It a Piece of the Moon?

Updated 11/11/2021, 5:06 pm

  • Earth not only has the Moon as a companion.
  • Small boulders, such as an object called Kamo’Olewa, revolve around the Sun in their immediate vicinity.
  • Researchers now have a theory about their origin.

You can find more knowledge topics here

A celestial body that is just 45 to 60 meters tall and is constantly near Earth could be a piece of debris from the Moon – ejected into space during an asteroid impact. This is the conclusion reached by an American research team that has observed so-called quasi-satellites for many years.

Notably, the object’s color shows no resemblance to asteroids, but to lunar rocks brought to Earth by the Apollo astronauts, the scientists explain in the journal “Communications Earth and the Environment.”

Five Small Objects Are Constantly Near Earth

Since 2004, astronomers have discovered a total of five small celestial bodies that are constantly near Earth, but independently orbiting the Sun. Astronomers call such celestial bodies as quasi-satellites. Viewed from Earth, their orbits appear as if they are orbiting our planet – opposite to the normal direction of motion.

“So far little is known about these quasi-satellites, because they are extremely weak and difficult to see,” wrote scientists working with Benjamin Sharkey from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona.

For several years, the team took a closer look at the quasi-satellite Kaomo’olewa, discovered in 2016 – the name comes from a Hawaiian creation myth and means “descendant traveling alone” – with the Large Binocular Telescope in Hawaii . A difficult undertaking, as the small celestial body can only be seen for a short time in April due to its orbit.

READ  Windows 10X Leaked: It Looks Like New Windows

To their surprise, Sharkey and his colleagues found that Kamo’Olewa’s spectrum is unlike that of any other known asteroid in near-Earth orbits. The researchers found a match comparing only silicate rock from the Moon. In addition, an accurate analysis of Kamo’Oleva’s orbit also suggests that the smaller part originally came from the Earth-Moon system. “The orbit is unusual for near-Earth asteroids, and it is very unlikely that a normal near-Earth asteroid would enter such an orbit,” explains Sharkey’s colleague Renu Malhotra.

Kamoaleva could be debris thrown from the Moon

So researchers believe that the most likely explanation is that Kamo’Olewa – and probably other quasi-satellites too – is a piece of debris that was thrown out by an asteroid impact on the Moon. Another evidence supports this hypothesis: near Earth, Kamo’Oleva moves at a speed of only two to five kilometers per second – asteroids in near-Earth orbits typically pass our planet at about 20 kilometers per hour. Let’s move on.

However, researchers cannot say when the Kamo’Olewa impact occurred – only that the object could possibly remain stationary near Earth for many millions of years, but not for billions of years. (DPA / Rainer Saffron / MGB)

Mars, Jupiter, Saturn: The probe has been sending impressive images of our solar system’s planets and their moons back to Earth for decades. Note: This picture gallery is from our collection and is constantly updated.

More from Laurence Porter
Technology Testing in F1 2021 – Computerbase
The official game for the current Formula 1 season is here. On...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *