A ‘planet killer’ asteroid has been found that could pose a risk to Earth

A ‘planet killer’ asteroid has been found that could pose a risk to Earth

A “planet killer” asteroid that could one day collide with Earth was spotted by astronomers in the sun’s glow, according to a new research study.

Three previously unknown near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) have been discovered in the inner Solar System, and one of them is the largest potentially hazardous object found in the past eight years, according to findings published in The Astronomical Magazine.

“Our twilight survey is scanning the area within the orbits of Earth and Venus for asteroids,” the paper’s lead author and astronomer Scott Sheppard said in a NOIR Lab press release who announced the findings on Monday. “So far we have found two large near-Earth asteroids that are about a kilometer in diameter, a size we call planet killers.

One of the asteroids, called 2022 AP7, is nearly a mile across and could enter Earth’s path in the future, according to the press release. Although its exact path is unclear, the asteroid will remain “well away from Earth” for now, Sheppard said. seconds CNN.

Twilight observations where astronomers have detected three near-Earth asteroids.
Twilight observations where astronomers have detected three near-Earth asteroids.

Sheppard said a near-Earth asteroid of one kilometer, which is 0.6 miles, or larger “would have a devastating impact on life as we know it,” according to the CNN report.

The planet would be cooled by dust and pollutants in the atmosphere for years that would prevent sunlight from reaching the planet’s surface, according to CNN.

“It would be a mass extinction event the likes of which has not been seen on Earth in millions of years,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard said the New York Times, “This is what we call a planet killer. If it hits Earth, it would cause the destruction of the entire planet. It would be very bad for life as we know it.”

This long exposure photograph shows the movement of the stars.
The most threatening asteroid would still be a long way off.

But planetary scientist Tracy Becker, who was not involved in the study, said there is an “extremely low probability” of it affecting Earth in the near term, according to the Times.

The other two asteroids, called 2021 LJ4 and 2021 PH27, orbit safely inside Earth’s orbit, according to NOIR Lab.

According to NOIR Lab, asteroids in this area are difficult to detect because they lie between Earth and Venus where the sun’s glare hides them. Astronomers only have 10-minute nighttime windows to look at the area as they struggle against the sun’s bright background.

“There are likely only a few NEAs of similar sizes left to find, and these undiscovered large asteroids likely have orbits that keep them inside the orbits of Earth and Venus most of the time,” Sheppard told the communicated “Only about 25 asteroids with orbits completely inside Earth’s orbit have been discovered so far because of the difficulty of observing near the Sun’s glow.”

#planet #killer #asteroid #pose #risk #Earth

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button