(NBC News) — A visiting mini-moon is circling Earth, according to astronomers who discovered the cosmic squatter in our planet’s orbit.
The tiny asteroid, dubbed 2020 CD3, was spotted by astronomers in Tucson, Arizona, on February 15.
Kacper Wierzchos, a researcher with the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, tweeted about it on Tuesday:
Wierzchos said the object measures about 6 feet to 11 feet across, and its orbit suggests that it entered Earth’s orbit around three year ago.
He added that the discovery is a “big deal” because out of roughly 1 million known space rocks, this is “just the second asteroid known to orbit Earth (after 2006 RH120, which was also discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey).”