Possible new “Minimoon” discovered orbiting Earth (images)

It’s been with us for three years, astronomers say but, sadly, it’ll probably be gone by spring

Tumbling through Earth’s increasingly crowded orbit are about 5,000 satellites, half a million pieces of human-made debris and only one confirmed natural object: the moon. Now, astronomers working out of the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory think they may have discovered a second natural satellite — or at least a temporary one.

Meet 2020 CD3, Earth’s newest possible “minimoon.”

A minimoon, also known as a temporarily captured object, is a space rock that gets caught in Earth’s orbit for several months or years before shooting off into the distant solar system again (or burning up in our planet’s atmosphere).

Read more: Space