Quasi-Moon : 2023 FW13
Astronomers have recently discovered a ‘quasi-moon’ called ‘2023 FW13’ that orbits the Earth but is actually gravitationally bound by the Sun.
- 2023 FW13 is an asteroid which has been designated as a quasi-satellite or a quasi-moon.
- It is among the few known quasi-moons or satellites that we know of in our solar system.
- It was identified by experts utilizing the Pan-STARRS telescope situated atop Hawaii’s Haleakala volcano.
- It has been in Earth’s vicinity since 100 BC and will keep circling our planet for at least another 1,500 years, until AD 3700.
- The newfound asteroid 2023 FW13 circles the sun in sync with Earth.
- According to preliminary estimates, its diameter is from 10 to 20 meters.
- While not gravitationally bound to Earth in any discernible way (like our Moon), the asteroid’s bizarre orbit makes it circle our planet occasionally, earning it the name of a quasi-satellite or quasi-moon.
- At the closest point in its slightly elliptical orbit around Earth, the moon comes within about 223,693 miles (360,000 km) of our planet.
- Quasi-moons are also known as ‘quasi-satellites’ because they appear to orbit our planet in the same way that our natural satellite, the Moon.