In Astronomy and space science frontiers, a new review published that the detection of mini-moons that is small asteroids captured temporarily in orbit around the earth. This will extensively improve our scientific understanding of the earth-moon system and asteroids. These fast-moving and small visitors have different direction by existing technology with one confirmed mini-moon discovery until date. The discovery of the large synoptic survey telescope (LSST) will verify their track and existence around our planet and present amazing commercial and scientific opportunities.
Dr. Robert Jedicke, lead author, based at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA said that mini-moons can offer excellent technology and science testbeds in near Earth-space. These asteroids are delivered towards earth from the major asteroid belt between Jupiter and mars via gravitational interactions with the planets and the sun in our solar system. Despite their close proximity, the challenge lies in searching these small objects.
Dr. Mikael Granvik, the co-author, affiliated with both the Lulea University of Technology, Sweden and the University of Helsinki, Finland said that they did completely understand about the asteroids in what its made up of at present. Only small amounts of material returned to earth with the research. Meteorites offer an indirect way of analyzing asteroids but the atmosphere of Earth destroys weak materials while they pass through. Mini-moons are a significant target of bringing back perfect asteroid chunks materials that are protected by a spacecraft. This could be studied in a minute on the earth.
Mini-moons are temporarily gravitationally bound in the earth-moon-system and the size is predicted to be 1-2 meters. They fly-by the earth or make one revolution around the planet and escape the gravitational tug of our planet or it enters the atmosphere.
LSST is currently under operational and construction in a few years and hopes to confirm the existence of mini-moons and help their orbit around the earth. According to the review, a part of special earth-moon neighborhood highlights collection the detection of mini-moons will bring to capitalize on the capabilities on LSST once it begins operations. Jedicke explains that by contributing his experience for these asteroids he hopes that humans will one day venture into the solar system to discover the planets, comets, and asteroids and he sees that mini-moons as the first stepping stones on that voyage.
According to Jedicke mini-moons are small and moving across the sky rapidly than the asteroid. This can detect by surveys.