What is the “killer” asteroid discovered by NASA

An international team of astrophysicists equipped with a special dark-powered camera (Decam) has discovered that three asteroids orbit the Earth, but only one of them could be dangerous to our planet in size and proximity. L ‘asteroid The so-called “killer” was renamed 2022 AP7: so far it has escaped notice due to the sun’s rays that hid it so well with the other two.

What is 2022 AP7

Its diameter is 1.5 km and its orbit is less than 7.5 million km from Earth. There is no kind of warning, and no effect is expected, but the newly discovered orb certainly piques the curiosity of many. The discovery was published in the trade journal Astronomical Journal This was possible thanks to some observations of the Inter-American Observatory in Cerro Tololo, Chile, which were announced by the Research and Development Center US RLab in the United States of America.

“Among the most dangerous in recent years”

About it talk toDealing the professor. Gianluca Massi, an astrophysicist and scientific director of the Virtual Telescope. “2022 AP7 is one of the largest and potentially dangerous asteroids discovered in the past eight years: first seen on January 13 thanks to the four-meter Víctor M. Blanco telescope in ChileHe explained that the celestial body belongs to a group of 15 thousand asteroids that periodically cross the Earth’s orbit, and their gravity is due to their diameter and proximity to the Earth. However, at the moment, there is no data to make us think of an upcoming collision with our planet, so much so that it has been removed from the list of bodies at risk of collision to watch.”

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Other discoveries

As mentioned earlier, the asteroid 2022 AP7 was discovered along with two other smaller ones called 2021 LJ4 and 2021 PH27, which were also hidden from sunlight in the innermost part of the solar system. The latter in particular has sparked much interest in the temperatures so hot at its surface that it is able to melt even lead. “Our aurora survey roams the region within the orbits of Earth and Venus in search of asteroids‘, announced Scott S. Shepherd, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Earth and Planet Laboratory and lead author of the study. “So far we have found two large asteroids near Earth about one kilometer wide, a size we call the planet killer.”

Astronomers Challenge

Tracking asteroids in the inner solar system is a very complex challenge for astronomers who only have ten minutes each night to patrol this region while always dealing with a very bright background of the sky due to the glare of the sun. They occur near the horizon as Earth’s atmosphere worsens, making searches distorted and more murky. The investigation of the asteroid and the other two pave the way for understanding the distribution of small celestial bodies within our solar system.

Maggie Benson

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