2022 NX1, the “minimoon” that orbits the Earth and will collide with it

The asteroid measures only 5 to 15 meters in diameter, making it a much smaller object than the Moon.

In the coming years, Earth will have an unusual companion: a “mini moon.” It is about the asteroid 2022 NX1, which was discovered by amateur astronomers in Africa. Although this news may sound exciting, the asteroid isn’t exactly welcome. In fact, it is destined to crash into our planet.

Fortunately, due to its relatively small size, the impact shouldn’t cause too much damage. The asteroid is only 5 to 15 meters in diameter, making it a much smaller object than the Moon. Despite its size, scientists are studying the asteroid with great interest.

Studying objects like 2022 NX1 can help astronomers better understand the formation of the solar system and how celestial objects interact with each other.

As its collision approaches, scientists will continue to monitor the asteroid to get a better idea of ​​how it interacts with our atmosphere. Although there is no need to panic, it is interesting to think that, for a limited time, we will have two satellites orbiting the Earth.

The discovery of asteroid 2022 NX1 has caused great interest in the scientific community. This object was found in July 2022 by a group of amateur astronomers from the Hakos Mountains Observatory in Namibia. Since then, it has drawn attention for its orbit, which is very similar to Earth’s, and for its possible origins.

According to the International Astronomical Union, there are two hypotheses about its origin. The first is that it could be of artificial origin, launched from our planet decades ago. The second is that it could be a lunar fragment. Both theories have generated a great debate in the scientific community, and further investigation is expected to determine their true origin.

2022 NX1 is on a horseshoe trajectory, and will approach Earth in 2051. However, the most striking thing about this object is that it would hit our planet starting in 2075. Fortunately, this would not have serious consequences due to its size. .

It is necessary to continue researching and developing technologies that allow us to detect and avoid these dangers in the future.

In August of that same year, astronomers from the Complutense University of Madrid and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias observed the asteroid with the Gran Telescopio Canarias, and published a study in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

According to this study, the asteroid is made of material of rocky origin or with a higher metal content, and is not compatible with material of lunar origin. Although the asteroid follows a horseshoe path, completing one orbit around the Sun along with the Earth, it moves at a much slower speed than the Moon.

For a few weeks, the gravitational energy with respect to the Earth takes a negative value when approaching it, which allows it to temporarily become its satellite.