On today’s episode of crazy things happening in the world, an asteroid has apparently been shadowing Earth around the sun since 100 BC. Yes, that’s almost more than 2000 years! However, this is just a claim by astronomers and scientists. They thought of the asteroid to be another moon, but they later discovered that it is, in fact, orbiting the sun and not Earth and that would make this asteroid a “quasi-moon” or “fake moon.”
The asteroid, named 2023 FW13, was first discovered in March 2023 by the Pan-STARRS observatory in Hawaii. It is about 50 feet (15 meters) in diameter and orbits the sun in a similar path and pace as Earth. This means that it appears to be orbiting Earth, but it is actually orbiting the Sun independently.
2023 FW13 is not the first “quasi-moon” to be discovered. There are a few other asteroids that follow Earth around the sun in this way. However, the 2023 FW13 is the first one to be discovered that has been following Earth for such a long time.
The discovery of the 2023 FW13 is a reminder of the vastness of the solar system and the many objects that we have yet to discover. It is also a reminder that Earth is not the only object in the solar system that is affected by the gravitational pull of the sun.
Alan Harris is a specialist at the Space Science Institute and he had this to say, “Earth plays essentially no role in its motion, it’s in no way associated with Earth other than by chance.”
Is It Different From Other Such “Moons”?
Unlike other fake moons, quasi-moons accompany Earth for a short span of a few decades. However, this particular quasi-moon stands out from the rest. By analyzing its orbital data, astronomers have determined that this asteroid has been in close proximity to our planet since approximately 100 BC, coinciding with the birth year of Julius Caesar.
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