New quasi-satellite of the Earth: object 2023 FW

Earth’s quasi-satellites are not exactly satellites of our planet, which are orbiting the Earth and orbiting around the Sun at the same time. Recently, a new such object was discovered – 2023 FW. Its size is 20 meters in diameter

Orbit 2023 FW is 26.9 million kilometers (16.7 million miles) from Earth, but it is not a satellite. Quasi-satellites are outside the Earth’s gravitational influence zone, but their orbit is random and not stable. The most stable quasi-satellite, 469219 Kamoʻoalewa, was discovered in 2016. It may be part of the Moon and orbiting the Earth for more than a century and will continue to do so for centuries to come.

Preliminary analysis of the new object 2023 FW shows that it could be Earth’s longest-lived quasi-satellite. French astronomer and journalist Adrien Coffinet believes that 2023 FW may have been in orbit since 100 B.C. and will continue to do so for a long time.

Although 2023 FW is a near-Earth object, it poses no threat to our planet. It is at a safe distance from us and if that were to change, we would know about it decades in advance.

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