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Writer Fuel: Meet the Minimoons

mini moons - deposit photos

The solar system holds many secrets that scientists are still trying to unravel. To help shed light on these mysteries, researchers are turning to space rocks of all kinds that may hold clues to the lost story of our solar system’s past. This approach is already bearing fruit: In October 2023, NASA’s OSIRIS REx mission discovered water and carbon — two of the precursors for life on Earth — on the 4.5 billion-year-old asteroid Bennu.

Among the thousands of asteroids swarming near Earth’s orbit, minimoons — tiny cosmic bodies, whose orbits are partially governed by Earth and partially by other solar system bodies — may be prime candidates for learning about the origins of the solar system, said Richard Binzel, a professor of planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“[Minimoons] probably have had a bit of a pinball experience in the inner solar system, being ricocheted around and tugged on by the different planets,” Binzel told Live Science. “They finally found themselves in a way that they got tugged into a somewhat circular orbit near the Earth.”

“Writer Fuel” is a series of cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Check out our Writer Fuel page on the LimFic blog for more inspiration.

Full Story From Live Science

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