The next big thing discovered in Australia, minimoons.
Here is some new information you probably didn’t know about meteors.
No not honeymoons and definitely no smaller versions of it, please, this is serious science.
Minimoon, as the name suggests, are not as developed as our 4 billion year old moon. The nature of gravity is to pull. A property of Earth’s atmosphere has to do with magnetism and gravity. As most of could’ve guessed, asteroids or meteoroids that have crossed over into Earth’s atmosphere should be pulled in by its gravity. Simply put, that’s not always the case. As you’ll see in the following example, foreign objects can be settled in place or flung into outer deep space.
Comets and other bodies in solar orbit naturally experience changes in their orbits once in a while, as they happen to pass close by a planet or a moon. This change in velocity does not greatly change its magnitude only its direction with greater force. NASA does a great job explaining gravitational assist.
A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4. A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation.
What Australia experienced was the final phase of a very rare settling in place of a meteor, called a minimoon. Space.com describes it like this
“Sometimes, objects from space come really close to Earth but are not immediately pulled in by our planet’s gravity.”Space.com
This is a big deal in the Astronomical world seeing as those minimoons do not happen that often. In fact, this has only happened twice before. One time, in 2006, researchers observed a minimoon orbiting Earth. The object, named 2006 RH120, was seen through a telescope circling the planet. The object orbited Earth for about 11 months before it wriggled free from Earth’s gravity and was flung back out into space. One other minimoon fireball has ever been observed. The fireball was spotted by a team running a camera network in Europe in 2014.