Mon 18 Apr, 2011 08:46 am
Match made in heaven: Earth finds new companion as giant asteroid joins its path around the sun
But there is something unusual about SO16, say Apostolos Christou and David Asher who discovered the giant floating rock last September at the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland.
Rather than follow its new friend all the way round, SO16 orbits the sun in a horseshoe shape, playing a constant game of catch up with Earth, they say.
It almost catches up, Earth's gravity pulls it faster, pushing it into a wider orbit, which slows it down. Then Earth catches up, Earth's gravity slows it down, which moves it to a lower orbit, which speeds it up. It almost catches up....
That's some weird freaky **** man.