(ORDO NEWS) — Over-the-horizon observations helped notice three previously unknown asteroids at once, barely visible in the bright brilliance of the Sun.
One of them is gaining in diameter as much as one and a half kilometers and in the future with a non-zero probability will converge with the Earth at a dangerously close distance.
An astronomical object is considered potentially dangerous if in its movement it approaches the Earth closer than 0.05 distances from the Sun (19.5 distances from the Moon) and has a diameter greater than 100-150 meters.
Theoretically, such a body is capable of colliding with the planet and causing a catastrophe on a global scale, so scientists pay great attention to their search and calculation of trajectories.
To date, 1454 potentially dangerous asteroids (Near-Earth Asteroids, NEA) are being tracked, not counting comets and other celestial bodies.
None of them can be called a real threat: the chances of a collision in the foreseeable future, although not zero, are very, very small .
The other day, the NEA list was replenished with a new member, which was discovered using the four-meter telescope of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.
The DECam camera installed on it conducts observations in the optical and infrared ranges.
Scientists are shooting near the horizon in order to consider objects located inside the Earth’s orbit, with minimal illumination from the Sun.
Such work has recently made it possible to notice three previously unknown and rather large NEAs at once.
Calculations have shown that two of these asteroids, named 2021 LJ4 and 2021 PH27, pose absolutely no danger.
In the foreseeable future, their orbits will not cross the orbit of the Earth, and remain closer to the Sun. However, the third one, 2022 AP7, may eventually approach our planet at a fairly close distance.
The diameter of the asteroid reaches one and a half kilometers, so the potential impact could be very destructive.
The chances of this happening are very small, but observations of 2022 AP7 will be continued to clarify the trajectory.
Recall that sometimes such work makes it possible to completely exclude an asteroid from the list of potentially dangerous ones.
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