What is 2023 FW13?

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What is 2023 FW13? Blog Image


Astronomers have recently discovered a ‘quasi-moon’ called ‘2023 FW13’ that orbits the Earth but is actually gravitationally bound by the Sun.

About 2023 FW13:

  • It is an asteroid which has been designated as a quasi-satellite or a quasi-moon.
  • It is among the few known quasi-moons or satellites that we know of in our solar system.
  • It was identified by experts utilizing the Pan-STARRS telescope situated atop Hawaii’s Haleakala volcano.
  • It has been in Earth's vicinity since 100 BC and will keep circling our planet for at least another 1,500 years, until AD 3700. 
  • Features:
    • The newfound asteroid 2023 FW13 circles the sun in sync with Earth.
    • According to preliminary estimates, its diameter is from 10 to 20 meters.
    • While not gravitationally bound to Earth in any discernible way (like our Moon), the asteroid's bizarre orbit makes it circle our planet occasionally, earning it the name of a quasi-satellite or quasi-moon.
    • At the closest point in its slightly elliptical orbit around Earth, the moon comes within about 223,693 miles (360,000 km) of our planet.

What are quasi-moons?

  • Quasi-moons are also known as 'quasi-satellites' because they appear to orbit our planet in the same way that our natural satellite, the Moon. 
  • It is a space rock that circles the Earth, but is gravitationally bound by the sun.


Q1) What is an Asteroid?

Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the sun. Although asteroids orbit the sun like planets, they are much smaller than planets.

Source: Earth's fake Moon? This 'quasi-moon' has circled Earth since at least 100 BC, and will continue to do so