Earth’s new ‘quasi-moon’ surprises scientists | Science & Planet

This remarkable quasi-moon called ‘2023 FW13’ was discovered by experts using the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii. While it’s not clearly gravitationally connected to Earth like our moon, the asteroid follows a bizarre orbit that sometimes causes it to orbit our planet. For that reason it is called a quasi-moon.

Normally, quasi-moons remain in a fixed orbit around the Earth for about decades, but the ‘2023 FW13’ shows anomalous behavior in this respect. “The ‘2023 FW13’ is special because it has been in its quasi-state for centuries and will continue to do so for many centuries to come,” said amateur astronomer Tony Dunn in an interview with the Daily Mail.

The presence of this meteorite opens exciting perspectives for future space missions. Thanks to the ‘short’ travel time of only a few months to ‘2023 FW13’, it is a perfect location to prepare for space missions to other planets.