Astronomy Earth's Newest "Moon"?

Discussion in 'Astronomy' started by Mizar, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. Mizar

    Mizar Premium Member

    Earth\'s Newest \"Moon\"?

    I found this on sky and telescope's website while looking for finder charts for uranus and neptune i think this is sligtly intresting

    full article at
  2. junior_smith

    junior_smith Premium Member

    first i thought you discovered it, lol.
    does this qualify as a moon?
  3. Mizar

    Mizar Premium Member

    if it turns out to be a natural non man made object then yes it would mean earth has 2 moons
    but 16th magnituted is incredibly faint you need to be away from city lights and have a nice telescope to see that

    so for the most part we could care less

    now iif you wanted to consider all manmade satelites moons thenn we woul dhav eliek 20,000 haha
  4. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

    You know, it could be UFO...

    JC pointed out that our current moon is distancing us. Now here we have another coming? Wait! It must be Near Earth Object that NASA is talking about. Aha!
  5. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    Did you know that we also have another moon that was founded in 1986? Well, technically, it is a moon, but if probably will not be forever.... or maybe it will. It is called Cruithne and is about 5 kilometers in size and will take 770 years to orbit the Earth. It is expected to stay in this orbit for at least 5,000 more years. Scientists are not sure if it will stabilize in this orbit or will eventually move on.

    Now, this brings us to the quest of WHAT IS A MOON in the first place. Well, the definition of a moon is very vague in itself. The thought currently is that it is an object whose orbit encompasses a planet.

    Now, leaveing out all the man-made sattelites and just focusing on natural objects, how do we define this? Is a grain of sand large enough to be considered a moon? How about a 2 meter rock? How about a 5 km rock? How about a 50 kilometer rock? How about a yada yada yada? Where do we draw a line? So, there could actually be many rocks out there orbiting the earth and we just cannot realize it.

    The universe is an amazing place!
  6. tablet

    tablet Premium Member

    It's difficult to say exactly what make a moon. This brings us back to the philosophy on "What makes a bed?" thread. I think we should only consider an object that is orbiting earth a moon IF it has significance affect on our planet like our current moon. Otherwise it would be called a "rock". And also it must not be mademade otherwise we'll call it Mumbo Jumpo. :lol:
  7. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    I thought anything moving around a planet is a satalitte, and once it is large enough, its called a moon?