A team of astronomers has found a new clue that an asteroid near the Tierra recently discovered, Kamo’olawewait could be a piece of the Luna.
They hypothesized that the asteroid was ejected from the lunar surface during a meteorite impact and discovered that an unusual trajectory could have allowed Kamo’oalewa to enter orbit around the asteroid. Sol while remaining close to the orbits of the Earth and the Moon.
The research team details their findings in the Oct. 23 issue of the journal Communications Earth & Environment. Kamo’oalewa has been the subject of several astronomical studies in recent years. As a result, a Chinese mission launching in 2025 will land on the asteroid and return samples to Earth.
“Elements from this space body can give us information about the formation of Earth’s moon and improve our knowledge of near-Earth asteroids,” he said in a statement. Aaron Rosengrenprofessor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of the lead authors of the paper.
Until now, only distant asteroids beyond the orbit of Mars were considered a source of near-Earth asteroids, he said. Renu Malhotra, professor of planetary sciences at the University of Arizona and also lead author of the paper. “We are now establishing that the moon is a more likely source of Kamo’oalewa,” Malhotra said.