Earth has been playing leap frog with this small asteroid for nearly a century

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Earth has been playing leap frog with this small asteroid for nearly a century

Think the moon is the Earth’s only companion? Think again. The asteroid 2016 HO3 orbits the sun, but it has also been following Earth for nearly a century, The Washington Post reports. But because of its distance from Earth, it can’t be considered a satellite, like the moon is. Instead, it is something called a “quasi-satellite,” the best example to date, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The asteroid, first discovered in April, has a weird orbital plane that makes its motion around Earth strongly resemble a game of leap frog. You can watch a video of the asteroid here.

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