November 07, 2018

Earth's Two Extra Moons

Dana Mathewson

And in other news...

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/11/news-earth-moon-dust-clouds-satellites- planets-space/

From the article:

"Earth’s moon may not be alone. After more than half a century of speculation and controversy, Hungarian astronomers and physicists say they have finally confirmed the existence of two Earth-orbiting "moons” entirely made of dust.

As they describe in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the team managed to capture snapshots of the mysterious clouds lurking just 250,000 miles away, roughly the same distance as the moon.

Researchers previously inferred the presence of multiple natural companions to Earth, but the dust clouds weren’t actually seen until 1961, when their namesake, Polish astronomer Kazimierz Kordylewski, got a glimpse. Even then, their presence was questioned.

"The Kordylewski clouds are two of the toughest objects to find, and though they are as close to Earth as the moon, are largely overlooked by researchers in astronomy,” says study coauthor Judit Slíz-Balogh, an astronomer at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary. "It is intriguing to confirm that our planet has dusty pseudo-satellites in orbit alongside our lunar neighbor.”

Read it all at National Geographic



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