#Astronomers have discovered three new #Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), which have been hiding in the inner solar system and are thus challenging to identify. This discovery comes more than a month after #Nasa successfully diverted an asteroid in outer space. One of the three objects, measuring 1.5 kilometres in width, may one day be in the path of Earth due to its orbit.
These objects were discovered by an international team of scientists using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) installed on the Victor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The location of the objects, which is inside to the orbits of Earth and Venus and difficult to observe due to the Sun’s glare, made the discovery difficult.
Our twilight survey is searching the region between Venus and Earth’s orbits for asteroids. Scott S. Sheppard, an astronomer at the Earth and Planets Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution for Science and the paper’s primary author, said that so far, his team has discovered two massive near-Earth asteroids that are approximately 1 kilometre across and that they refer to as “planet killers.”
The discoveries, which include some of the most likely Earth impactors that cannot readily be found in other surveys, have been published in The Astronomical Journal. They argue that the interior asteroid populations are crucial to completing the census of asteroids close to Earth.
Three near-Earth objects were discovered by the researchers, including the 1.5 km wide asteroid 2022 AP7, whose trajectory may one day put it in Earth’s path. The two other asteroids, 2021 LJ4 and 2021 PH27, are safely out of the danger of Earth.
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