A recent discovery has just occurred of an asteroid named 2023 FW13, but it turns out this is more than just a passing asteroid. According to credible sources that I will link below, this new asteroid is a past companion of Earth’s quasi-moon that has been orbiting our home since 100 B.C.
Astronomers believe that this quasi-moon will be sticking with Earth until A.D. 3700. 2023 FW13 has a very interesting orbit compared to others. 2023 FW13 travels halfway out to Mars and then halfway out to Venus during the course of its orbit.
2023 FW13 was first discovered on March 28th with the Pan-STARRS survey telescope. This particular telescope sits on top of Haleakala, a dormant volcano in Hawaii. It is used to snap photos of the night sky to try and identify new asteroids, planets, and stars. Now we know it’s working well.
Many astronomers believe that 2023 FW13 shares a similar orbit to Kamo’oalewa, another quasi-moon.
2023 FW13 is estimated to be around 65 feet and 20 meters wide. There are no concerns of 2023 FW13 hitting Earth or running into it, for all of you wondering. As for the future, will we be seeing missions to this quasi-moon? Much information is unknown, with so much more to discover, such as the exact measurements or what materials it is composed of. I’m sure all of these secrets will soon unravel.
Does earth have a new quasi-moon? (2023, April 7). Sky & Telescope. https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-news/does-earth-have-new-quasi-moon/