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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Dangerous Asteroid Close to Earth Discovered Hiding in Sun’s Glare

It was discovered alongside two other near-Earth asteroids

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

UNITED STATES: It was revealed on Monday by an international team of astronomers that a huge asteroid had been found whose orbit intersects with that of Earth, posing a remote possibility of a disastrous impact.

The asteroid 2022 AP7, with a width of 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles), was found in a region where it is relatively hard to see asteroids because of the Sun’s glare.

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It was discovered alongside two other near-Earth asteroids with the aid of a sophisticated tool installed on the Victor M. Blanco telescope in Chile that was initially created to investigate dark matter.

However, 2022 AP7 does not currently or at any time in the future have a trajectory that will cause it to collide with the Earth, according to the main author of the research and astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science.

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The potential danger stems from the fact that, like any orbiting object, the course of the item would gradually change due to various gravitational influences, most notably those exerted by planets. Long-term forecasts are therefore challenging.

According to NOIRLab, a US-funded scientific organization that runs several observatories, the recently detected asteroid is “the largest potentially hazardous object to Earth to be discovered in the last eight years.”

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Under its current orbit, 2022 AP7 takes five years to round the Sun, which is still several million kilometers distant from Earth at its closest point.

Because of this, there is extremely little chance of a collision, but Sheppard warned that a large asteroid “would have a terrible impact on life as we know it.”

He stated that the airborne dust would be significantly cool, leading to an “extinction event like hasn’t been witnessed on Earth in millions of years”.

The outcomes of his team’s research were released in The Astronomical Journal. The other two asteroids are not dangerous to Earth, although one of them is the closest asteroid to the Sun ever discovered.

The term “Near Earth Objects” (NEOs) refers to the over 30,000 asteroids of all sizes, including more than 850 that are more than a kilometer wide, that have been identified in the area around the Earth (NEOs). For the next 100 years, none of them pose a threat to Earth.

Sheppard estimates that there are “about 20 to 50 huge NEOs still to locate,” but the majority of them are in the Sun’s direct line of sight due to their orbits.

Recently, on Thursday, the American space agency NASA recorded a massive asteroid passing Earth at an incredible 13 kilometres per second (46,800 Kilometers per hour).

The cosmic object, designated Asteroid 2022 UF4, came within 4.5 million kilometres of our planet when it made its closest approach. It was approximately the width of an aeroplane at 140 feet.

Also Read: Asteroid 2022 UF4 Comes Very Close to Planet Earth

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  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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