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Still Waters

Researchers identify a minimoon fireball

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Still Waters

Fireballs explode in Earth's atmosphere all the time, usually unremarkably. And a fireball that exploded over the Australian desert in 2016 might have been mistaken for any other bolide, if not for a network of cameras monitoring the sky to search for just such events.

It was thanks to images taken by these cameras - called the Desert Fireball Network - that astronomers were able to ascertain the fireball was no ordinary exploding space rock.

Instead, velocity data revealed the rock had probably been in orbit around Earth before meeting its fiery end; a phenomenon known as a temporarily captured orbiter, or, colloquially, a minimoon. 

https://www.sciencealert.com/a-fireball-spotted-over-the-australian-desert-could-have-been-a-rare-and-elusive-minimoon

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-3881/ab3f2d

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Dark_Grey

How big does a space rock need to be to fall under the category of

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Piney
1 hour ago, Dark_Grey said:

How big does a space rock need to be to fall under the category of

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claimed_moons_of_Earth

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