Could Earth capture a new moon?

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jason bechtel

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Could Earth capture a new moon?
« on: 04/12/2009 09:30:01 »
jason bechtel  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello, my name is Jason from Linthicum, Maryland in the US.  

I just listened to your latest podcast and someone said that one or more of the Mars moons may have been a captured asteroid.  

What are the chances of this happening with earth now?  

You always hear of near misses, and meteoroids mostly burn up, and then the big direct hits, but nobody ever talks about the possibility of a "near miss" turning into a new moon.  Any thoughts?


Jason

What do you think?

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Offline syhprum

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Could Earth capture a new moon?
« Reply #1 on: 04/12/2009 11:34:41 »
Any body approaching the Earth from a great distance will be travelling at greater than escape velocity relative to the Earth therefore will not go into orbit unless it is slowed in some manner.
I suppose if it came in at just the right angle into the atmosphere it might go into orbit for a short while but it would very unstable and soon decay and burn up.
syhprum