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Though 3753 Cruithne is sometimes called our second moon, it does not actually orbit the Earth. Its eccentric orbit just happens to be in 1:1 resonance with ours, taking a year to go once around the Sun.  From our frame of reference, Cruithne appears to be moving in a bean-shaped orbit about the Earth. This animation shows a similar orbit, and how the two motions can combine to give the illusion of the oddly shaped orbit. [more] [code]

Though 3753 Cruithne is sometimes called our second moon, it does not actually orbit the Earth. Its eccentric orbit just happens to be in 1:1 resonance with ours, taking a year to go once around the Sun.  From our frame of reference, Cruithne appears to be moving in a bean-shaped orbit about the Earth. This animation shows a similar orbit, and how the two motions can combine to give the illusion of the oddly shaped orbit. [more] [code]

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    THIS IS SO COOL!
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    Though 3753 Cruithne is sometimes called our second moon, it does not actually orbit the Earth. Its eccentric orbit just...
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    I get dizzy trying to follow how this goes around the sun.
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Matt Henderson

I post original stuff about maths, space, computational linguistics and other things that I like. This blog is meant to be accessible and interesting to people of all backgrounds. My undergrad was maths in Cambridge, and I'm now starting research in Speech and Language technology. Email me at If you're new, check out this overview of my posts. All code posted is in Mathematica.

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