Miles-wide planet-killing asteroid found hidden in bright sunlight – largest discovered in eight years

A PLANET-killer asteroid has been spotted hiding in the harsh sunlight.

The mile-wide space rock is the largest dangerous asteroid discovered in eight years.

A planet-killing asteroid has been spotted hiding in the sun's glare

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A planet-killing asteroid has been spotted hiding in the sun’s glarePhoto credit: SWNS

But it could only be seen in 10-minute twilight windows.

It was one of three near-Earth asteroids discovered in the inner Solar System by a team of astronomers based at an observatory in Chile.

The largest, dubbed 2022 AP7, has an orbit that could one day see it crash to Earth.

The others, dubbed 2021 LJ4 and 2021 PH27, have orbits that are considered non-dangerous.

Scott S. Sheppard, astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Earth and Planets Laboratory and lead author of the article describing this work, explains: “Our twilight survey is combing the area inside the orbits of Earth and Venus for asteroids.

“So far we have found two large near-Earth asteroids that are about a kilometer in diameter, a size we call planet killers.

“There are probably few NEAs of similar sizes left to be found, and these large undiscovered asteroids likely have orbits that keep them within the orbits of Earth and Venus most of the time.

“So far, only about 25 asteroids have been discovered whose orbit is entirely within Earth’s orbit because it is difficult to observe them close to the Sun.”

https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9661844/planet-killer-asteroid-spotted/ Miles-wide planet-killing asteroid found hidden in bright sunlight – largest discovered in eight years

Fry Electronics Team

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