A pair of so-called “ghost moons” have been documented orbiting our planet and they’re not far from the moon we all look up and see in the night sky.

ghost moons orbit earth, Scientists have confirmed the existence of two elusive ghost moons orbiting Earth
Scientists have confirmed the existence of two elusive ghost moons orbiting Earth. G. Horvath / Royal Astronomical Society

These false moons are hazy clouds of dust that span tens of thousands of miles across but were too subtle to see with the naked eye when Polish astronomer Kazimierz Kordylewski discovered them in 1961. Kordylewski tried to convince other scientists of their existence but failed since his evidence was too faint.

However, new images published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society support the existence of these ghost moons, also known as Kordylewski clouds. The clouds were documented by astronomers Gabor Horvath and Judit Sliz-Balogh of Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University using a specially fitted telescope in western Hungary some 60 years after their discovery by Kordylewski.

The newly documented ghost moons orbit the Earth at about the same distance as our actual moon — around 240,000 miles on average — with one orbiting ahead of the moon and the other standing still at a Lagrange point.

Lagrange points are places in space where objects tend to stay put because the gravitational pull from two large masses is equal to the centripetal force needed to move a small object with them.

The idea here is that when you have a biggish object, like the Earth, orbited by a smaller one, like the moon, there are regions of space where the centrifugal force balances gravity,” astronomer Phillip Plait told NBC News MACH. “Put a much smaller object there, and it’ll stay there for a long time.

However, how much longer our ghost moons will stick around remains uncertain. While Kordylewski first came across the celestial clouds back in the 1960s, researchers believe they could dissipate in a few years.

Ghost clouds… I had never heard of those before! Awesome!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or become a Patron on Patreon / donate through Paypal. Please and thank you.

MNRAS – Celestial mechanics and polarization optics of the Kordylewski dust cloud in the Earth–Moon Lagrange point L5 – Part II. Imaging polarimetric observation: new evidence for the existence of Kordylewski dust cloud
NBC News – ‘Ghost moons’ discovered in orbit around Earth
Weather – Pair of ‘Ghost Moons’ Found in Orbit With Earth

2 COMMENTS

  1. Daniel 7:13
    13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the ~Son of man came with the clouds of heaven,~ and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
    1 Kings 8:11
    11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the ~cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.~
    Matthew 24:30-31
    30 And then shall appear the sign of the ~Son of man in heaven:~ and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the ~Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven~ with power and great glory.
    31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
    Mark 13:26-27
    26 And then shall they see the ~Son of man coming in the clouds~ with great power and glory.
    27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
    Exodus 13:21-22
    21 And the LORD went before them by day in a ~pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire~, to give them light; to go by day and night:
    22 He took not away the pillar of the ~cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night,~ from before the people.
    Exodus 24:16-18
    16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the ~cloud~ covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the ~cloud.~
    17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like ~devouring fire~ on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
    18 And Moses went into the midst of the ~cloud~, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.
    Luke 21:27-28
    27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a ~cloud~ with power and great glory.
    28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
    Ezekiel 1:28
    28 As the appearance of the rainbow that is in the ~cloud~ in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

  2. Can we name the new dust moons?

    I think that we should name the new dust moons. I feel Castor and Pollux would be suitable names, after Greek and Roman mythology, as they were half brothers, as they are quite similar in appearance, but are distinct. I also think that we are going to have to rename the moon into something a bit more suitable if these actually do have enough gravitational field strength to pull themselves into distinct objects of rock and ice. I think that if, they do, we should rename the moon into Luna, after the Roman god of the moon. Other suitable names for the dust moons could be as follows:

    Azaes and Diaprepes
    Scylla and Charybdis
    Artemis and Selene
    Thoth and Sena

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here