There’s been an asteroid explosion over Australia back in 2916, and now, new details are popping up about the event.
It’s been revealed that the asteroid could have been in our planet’s orbit for a period of time known as a temporarily captured orbiter or a minimoon.
The online publication Express.co.uk notes that when we’re thinking about Earth’s moon, we imagine the celestial body that helps to illuminate the night sky, but the definition of a moon is a natural satellite that is captured by the gravitational pull of a planet.
When experts are saying that the Earth has more than one moon, this doesn’t really have to mean that we can see two giant celestial bright rocks in the sky.
What they reportedly mean is the fact that our planet managed to pull in small asteroids that are caught in the orbit.
The minimoons can also fall into the planet’s atmosphere, and they can produce a fireball.
Now, it’s been reported that a team of experts from the Curtin University in Australia has established six cameras across hundreds of kilometers which monitor fireballs in the Australian outback.
A minimoon hit back in 2016
Using the cameras, experts were able to find that one fireball which hit back on August 22, 2016, was actually a minimoon.
The velocity was not a high one – only 11 MPS.
Experts want to learn why some space rocks get caught into Earth’s gravitational pull.
Experts wrote in the Astronomical Journal the following: “We find that the probable capture time, capture velocity, capture semimajor axis, capture [near-Earth object] group, and capture mechanism all vary annually, with most captures occurring during Earth’s aphelion or perihelion.”
They continued and said: “We also discover that the probability of capture occurring as a result of a close lunar encounter varies according to the lunar month for this event.”