This is pretty cool.

J002E3 is a object that was discovered in Earth orbit in 2002. It was initially thought to be an asteroid, but turns out that it was probably the S-IVB third stage of Apollo 12.

It was off in a heliocentric orbit for 31 years, made a brief 6-orbit visit home, and now it’s off galavanting around the sun again. May get captured temporarily again in 2040

Animated gif of the orbits

It looks like “chasing the moon” on the last orbit is what gets it kicked out of earth orbit.

One thought on “Captcha

  1. sweet.

    I want it as an inset on a heliocentric view, so I can tell for sure if – as it appears – it like the moon is not actually looping the earth from the sun’s viewpoint.

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