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Does the earth have four moons??!?!?

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32511.  Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:23 pm Reply with quote

Hey guys.

I remember from an episode in series 1 or 2 where apparently it was claimed the Earth has four moons, the second called Picts? After a Latin word meaning a picture.

Anyway, after repeating this to someone who doesn't believe me, i'm trying to prove I'm not a chrnoic liar.

Is this true? If so why does nowhere on the internet agree with it, and where did the research come from? Thanks for your help.

32527.  Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:54 pm Reply with quote

This is a topic which has come up in all three series of the show. In the first we told people about a body called Cruithne, in the second about three more "Earth co-orbital bodies" which had just been discovered, and in the third series we mention another two quasi-satellites. So the total is seven, including the Moon itself. However, in the second and third series we were careful to enter the reservation that these bodies are not, strictly speaking, 'moons' in that they aren't in orbit around the Earth so much as they are tracking the Earth's orbit around the Sun. You may be interested in reading the article about Cruithne in Wikipedia, which is at this link: This article is not quite as up-to-date as the QI show which will be broadcast on BBC2 on 16th December will be; at the time we recorded the show the two newest Earth co-orbital bodies (2003 YN107 and 2004GU9) were newly-discovered (indeed one of them was unpublished) and these are in the show but not mentioned in the article.

The total list of seven is:

The Moon
3753 Cruithne
(54509) 2000 PH5,
(85770) 1998 UP1
2002 AA29
2003 YN107

I hope this helps.

32529.  Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:57 pm Reply with quote

As to research sources, we were assisted by the astronomer Paul Weigert, who is a specialist in this field.

Cruithne is a Celtic deity, pronounced Cru-een-ya.

Last edited by Flash on Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:05 am; edited 1 time in total

32588.  Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:05 am Reply with quote

It's been pointed out to me that the material recorded for the 16th Dec show didn't make the edit, so you won't see it broadcast. The account given above is accurate, though.


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