| 11.3°C Dublin

Car-sized 'mini-moon' is now orbiting the Earth, says Nasa


Stock picture

Stock picture

Stock picture

A "mini-moon" the size of a family car has started orbiting the Earth, astronomers have announced.

The object, which measures up to 11ft in diameter, was spotted earlier this month by a Nasa-funded observation station in Arizona.

It is likely to have been orbiting the planet for about three years and circles it in an uneven oval shaped pattern once every 47 days. Named 2020 CD3, it is just the second known asteroid to have been pulled into orbit and scientists predict it will not become a permanent fixture.

The first was the 2006 RH120 which circled the globe between September 2006 and June 2007 before heading into outer space.

Kacper Wierxchos, a researcher at the Catalina Sky Survey, made the discovery with his colleague Theodore Pruyne. "It's a big deal," he tweeted. (© Daily Telegraph London)