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Showing posts from November 6, 2012

Earth may have had two moons

Image
The Earth has 1 moon, and 2 co-orbital satellites (apparent satellites but not "true" satellites). The largest of these co-orbital satellites is Cruithne, a 5km-sized rock that appears to orbit the earth at a distance, in a very strange orbit. The following information is from

http://www.astro.uwo.ca/~wiegert/3753/3753.html

and has several excellent diagrams and animations that will help you to understand Cruithne's peculiar orbit. My favorite animation that finally helped "the lightbulb go on" in my mind was the following:

http://www.astro.uwo.ca/~wiegert/3753/mpegs/int1.mpg


Near-Earth asteroid 3753 Cruithne
--Earth's curious companion--

Paul Wiegert
Previously of the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, York University, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
Now at the The UWO Physics Dept, Astronomy Group The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario CANADA.
Kimmo Innanen
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, York University, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3 CANADA

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