It’s here to stay – at least for about 200 years: the asteroid 2022 YG. A Russian amateur astronomer discovered the mini moon with a diameter of 30 meters in December, as reported by the “Cnet” portal. As a result, it can often happen that so-called mini-moons orbit the earth. However, most of them leave our orbit again after a few years.

Not so with the newly discovered asteroid 2022 YG. First computer modeling has shown that it has been orbiting the earth since around 1961. It takes about a year for one round. The scientists suspect that the asteroid, also known as a quasi-satellite, is trapped in Earth’s orbit in a way that has not yet been explained. The researchers assume that it will only be able to “free itself” from our orbit again in almost 160 years, in the year 2181.

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As a mini moon, however, it orbits the earth in a strange way. The scientists even describe his path as “hypnotic” if you follow him on computer models for several decades. It first moves in a long ellipse in one direction, then in the other direction and there again on a more circular path and finally back in the first direction again before the whole cycle starts all over again.

Quasi-satellites accompany the earth from time to time and pose no danger to it. They are attracted by the earth’s gravity and leave their orbit again after some time. Further studies should now show whether the new asteroid 2022 YG can really withstand more than 150 years with us.

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