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Earth has scores of mini-moons, models predict

by Laura Domela

April 05, 2012 at 3:21 PM

mini-moon-asteroids-could-orbit-earth_50816_600x450.jpg

Our moon is not alone: Scores of unseen mini-moons are now in orbit around Earth, new computer models predict.

What's more, these tiny moons occasionally plummet through our planet's atmosphere, creating brilliant fireballs, the researchers say.

The findings are based on supercomputer simulations of ten million asteroids known to fly through the Earth-moon system. The models show that objects that circle the sun in orbits similar to Earth's are likely to be captured as mini-moons.
via National Geographic

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