Archive for June 21st, 2016

A second moon

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Jet Propulsion Lab/NASA: Small Asteroid Is Earth’s Constant Companion.

“A small asteroid has been discovered in an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth, and it will remain so for centuries to come.

As it orbits the sun, this new asteroid, designated 2016 HO3, appears to circle around Earth as well. It is too distant to be considered a true satellite of our planet, but it is the best and most stable example to date of a near-Earth companion, or “quasi-satellite.””

The picture of the orbit reminded me of my first (and second-to-last) programming project: During my first year of university I had to write a program that calculated orbits of a satellite influenced by the gravity of sun and earth, also known as three-body-problem. Even though I checked my work again and again, the stupid program wouldn’t turn out the right (periodic or chaotic) orbits, so I had to get an extension on the deadline for handing in the project. Took me two whole days to find the sign error.

And now you know why I hate programming. 😉