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No. 21: May-Jun 1982

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The earth's other moons

Over the past two centuries, night-sky observers have recorded a number of objects that moved too fast to be asteroids and too slowly to be meteors. John P. Bagby has studied this problem for over 20 years, publishing several hotly debated papers during this period. His latest contribution summarizes evidence supporting his contention that the earth has captured chunks of space debris, some of which have disintegrated, some of which are still in orbit amidst tons of artificial-satellite debris. The supporting observations have come from optical surveillance programs, tracking networks, radio-propagation anomalies, and (most interesting to the anomaly collector) old reports of bright objects near the sun (especially the August 1921 object) and the curious group of retrograde objects that passed over Germany in 1880.

(Bagby, J.P.; "Natural Earth Satellites," British Interplanetary Society, Journal, 34:289, 1981.)

Reference. Material on the August 1921 object is cataloged at AEO1 in our book: The Sun and Solar System Debris. To order, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #21, MAY-JUN 1982. 1982-2000 William R. Corliss