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Mini Moon

This small moon was photographed circling the asteroid Dinkinesh. NASA/GODDARD/SWRI/JOHNS HOPKINS APL/NOIRLAB

On November 1, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft passed a small asteroid called Dinkinesh. The craft made an unexpected discovery. Dinkinesh has a small moon.

Lucy was sent to space in 2021. The spacecraft is meant to study asteroids near Jupiter. It will not reach them until 2027. Last month, Lucy was sent past Dinkinesh. This was a practice run. Lucy collected data and took photos. These were beamed back to Earth. Photos showed the mini moon. Scientists were surprised. They will continue to look at the data. They hope it will tell them more about the nature of small asteroids.