June 17, 2016

"A small asteroid has been found circling Earth as the two objects orbit the sun together."

CNN: Scientists say it looks like the asteroid -- called 2016 HO3 -- has been out there for about 50 years and isn't going away anytime soon. by Amanda Barnett

'"Our calculations indicate 2016 HO3 has been a stable quasi-satellite of Earth for almost a century, and it will continue to follow this pattern as Earth's companion for centuries to come," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.

'Scientists think the asteroid is between 120 and 300 feet (37 to 91 meters) in diameter. It was found on April 27, 2016 by the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope in Haleakala, Hawaii.

'The asteroid is not going to hit us -- NASA says it never gets closer than 9 million miles (14 million kilometers) from Earth. So does this mean Earth has another moon? NASA says that because the asteroid is so far away it can't be considered a natural moon, or satellite. Instead, they're calling it a "quasi-satellite."

'"Since 2016 HO3 loops around our planet, but never ventures very far away as we both go around the sun, we refer to it as a quasi-satellite of Earth," said Chodas in an online press release.'

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