It turned out that the Earth could boast of more "moons" than just one.
But that's probably not what you would expect.
This is in line with a new study published in the monthly newsletter of the Royal Astronomical Society, which found that our planet has two massive clouds of dust circling around it along with the moon.
They are called Kordylewski clouds and, like our moon, they have about 250,000 kilometers of distance between them and the Earth.
"Although they are so close to the Earth as moons, (clouds Kordylewski) are mostly overlooked by researchers in astronomy," coauthor study Judit Slíz-Balogh said in a press release. "It's interesting to confirm that our planet has dusty pseudo-satellites in orbit next to our radiator."
To find these hidden "moons", the researchers looked at five Lagrange points of Earth and Moon, which NASA explained as "positions in a space where the gravitational forces of two physical systems, such as the Sun and the Earth, produce enhanced regions of attraction and rejection. "Every two systems of the body – either the moon and the earth, for example the Sun and the Earth – have five of these points that pack a gravitational pull.
Lagrange points have the gravitational power to keep small objects circulating in place – and researchers say they found clouds of dust circulating on the L4 and L5. The idea of dust clouds at these points was first translated by Kazimierz Kordylewski in 1961.
And they are quite large – National Geographic has found that the powder "moon" has a width that is nine times larger than our own planet.
Using camera filters, researchers found reflex light at points L4 and L5, which could not be resolved with other explanations, instead of drawing attention to the existence of clouds of dust, a real study. And while most Kordylewski clouds consist of small particles, the study finds that "stone objects" can be captured in Lagrange Point 5.
While it may sound theoretical and confusing, the Lagrange points between Earth and the Moon could play an important role in the future of human travel in space because of their ability to retain objects in a given area, according to study authors.
"These points are suitable for parking space vehicles, satellites or space telescopes with minimal fuel consumption (however, there are no spacecraft that circulate on L4 or L5 in the Solar system), or they can be used as portable stations for mission to Mars or other planets and / or interplanetary wholesalers, "says a study.
And if you think that the "moon" powder sounds weird, you'll probably feel the same way as "moonmoons".
That's right – researchers from the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the University of Bordeaux recently published a working document that would theorize a few moons; they could have their own smaller moons, which for some reason are just called "moonmoons". for their regular moons either go into space or find a larger planet for orbit, said the study.