Discovery of Earth's quasi-satellite

Martin Connors, Christian Veillet, Ramon Brasser, Paul Wiegert, Paul Chodas, Seppo Mikkola, Kimmo Innanen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The newly discovered asteroid 2003 YN107 is currently a quasi-satellite of the Earth, making a satellite-like orbit of high inclination with apparent period of one year. The term quasi-satellite is used since these large orbits are not completely closed, but rather perturbed portions of the asteroid's orbit around the Sun. Due to its extremely Earth-like orbit, this asteroid is influenced by Earth's gravity to remain within 0.1 AU of the Earth for approximately 10 years (1997 to 2006). Prior to this, it had been on a horseshoe orbit closely following Earth's orbit for several hundred years. It will re-enter such an orbit, and make one final libration of 123 years, after which it will have a close interaction with the Earth and transition to a circulating orbit. Chaotic effects limit our ability to determine the origin or fate of this object.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1251-1255
Number of pages5
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug. 2004


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