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Astronomers Found the Lost Parts of Moon

Astronomers have found the origins of a certain near-Earth — about the size of a Ferris wheel. Now, believe the asteroid called Kamo`oalewa broke off from the moon, according to data published in the journal Nature on Thursday.

A team of Astronomers, led by Ben Sharkey, a University of Arizona planetary sciences graduate student, discovered the asteroid in 2016. They found that Kamo`oalewa’s “spectrum,” or pattern of reflected light, didn’t match any of the other near-Earth asteroids.

Astronomers knew something was different about Kamo`oalewa — whose name is found in a Hawaiian creation chant and “alludes to an offspring that travels on its own from the Astronomers but the team only had a few weeks to run tests before the asteroid continued on it’s orbit. Vishnu Reddy, Sharkey’s co-author and University of Arizona associate professor of lunar and planetary sciences said that they doubted themselves.

The was difficult to study. Not only is it about 4 million times fainter than the faintest star the human eye can see, but Kamo`oalewa has a very unique orbit that tilts around Earth. At its closest, it is 9 million miles away — and it’s only that close for a few weeks every April.In 2020, researchers were stymied by COVID-19, which shut down the Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham in southern Arizona, one of the only telescopes large enough to capture the far-away asteroid.

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