How Many Moons Does the Earth Have? Astronomers Say it Has Two

All this time we were lead to believe that the Earth has one moon, but in a research paper called “The population of natural Earth satellites”, astronomers say that our planet earth has a second moon. The moons are so small that we don’t really notice them, but at any given time, the Earth has two of them orbiting it’s ring.

According to Cornell University Mikael Granvik, Jeremie Vaubaillon and Robert Jedicke they stated that the “irregular natural satellites are temporarily captured” by the Earths strong gravitational pull. These small moons come into the orbit, spin a couple of times and then are released back into space without anyone even knowing they were here.

The moons are so quiet that the first time that a moon was detected was in 2006 when the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona discovered that the Earth had an extra object spinning around with it.

Then in June of 2006 the earth captured another object, this one was a few meters wide, this one was captured for about a year. In June of 2007 the small asteroid left the Earth’s orbit and was free to roam the universe again. Researchers claim that even though we don’t see them, we often have several moons come and go throughout the year.

This means that we can technically go out and reel one of these in and mine it for minerals, or study them to learn more about the universe. The first thing researchers are trying to do is find a way to detect them when they are here. Since most come and go in as little as three spins around the Earth, these moons are a little hard to study. Regardless, this is a great find, and soon we’ll be able to learn a little bit more about where we came from.