Imagine seeing 3 moons in the sky. Brighter nights and beautiful sky lit up by 3 moons…
The Hungarian astronomers have finally ended years of speculation and confirmed the existence of two other moons orbiting our Earth.
A recent study about dust clouds/ dust moons authored by Judit Slíz-Balogh, András Barta, Gábor Horváth have been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The researchers have confirmed the 5 decade long theory about dust clouds orbiting Earth by capturing snapshots of the dust clouds lurking just 250,000 miles away. It is roughly the same distance as the moon.
These dust moons are entirely made up of micro tiny dust particles. Kazimierz Kordylewski was the first to photograph two faint patches near the Lagrange 5 point from the Polish mountain Kasprowy Wierch between 1961 March 6 and April 6. However, their presence was questioned. Hence, the dust clouds are named after him – Kordylewski Dust Clouds (KDC).
Can you see with your naked eyes? No. When sunlight hits the dust clouds the light emitted by them is super faint. This makes it very difficult to detect the Kordylewski clouds against the galactic light, star light, zodiacal light, and sky glow, says the study.
The researchers using special polarizing filters on their cameras have managed to reveal the scattered light reflecting off the individual particles within the clouds.
According to the new findings, each Kordylewski cloud is about 15 by 10 degrees wide, or equal to 30 by 20 lunar disks in the night sky. This translates to an area in space about 65,000 by 45,000 miles in actual size—nearly nine times wider than Earth.
The KDC is always changing. They might be stable in orbit but the cloud’s particles are continually swapped out making them simultaneously ever-changing and ancient. Some dust particles may be lost due to Earth and Moon gravitational pull. While Meteor shower and interplanetary particles replenish their dust supply.
However, going ahead the investigation of these clouds could be important from the point of view of space navigation safety, according to the study.
Pic Source: Pexels.com
Lagrange point: In celestial mechanics, the Lagrangian points are positions in an orbital configuration of two large bodies, wherein a small object, affected only by the gravitational forces from the two larger objects, will maintain its position relative to them.