3280-foot monster asteroid heading towards Earth; Check out this terrifying planet-killer

    Asteroid 2022 AP7, which measures 1-2 km (3280.84 feet is equal to 1 km) in diameter poses a huge threat to Earth. Is there a chance this terrifying asteroid will hit?
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Nov 14 2022, 21:43 IST
    Giant planet-killer asteroid coming towards Earth. Know what the study says about it. (Pixabay)
    Giant planet-killer asteroid coming towards Earth. Know what the study says about it. (Pixabay)

    In a critically important development, the constant quest to detect dangerous asteroids that are heading towards Earth has just borne fruit. A terrifying asteroid has been found. Scientists have encountered a planet-killer monster asteroid, which can be lethal for our planet! Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science and his team of colleagues have observed, not just one, but 3 asteroids, one of which is said to be a ‘planet-killer' and it has been named Asteroid 2022 AP7. The most worrying part is that it is the largest potentially hazardous asteroid found in the last eight years, measuring between 1.1-2.3 kilometres in diameter. 2.3 km is 7545.93 feet!

    This planet-killer asteroid orbits the Sun every five years. The study says that asteroid 2022 AP7 currently crosses the orbit of the Earth when it is on the other side of the Sun. This asteroid is potentially hazardous due to its humongous size and has the potential of causing mass extinction on Earth.

    While writing in the Astronomical Journal, the study author Scott Sheppard says that this asteroid “has no chance to hit the Earth currently.” While holding out current comfort, Sheppard did leave a lot to fear in the future. The researcher revealed that the asteroid will cross the Earth's orbit sometime in the future. “And we do not know the orbit of 2022 AP7 precisely enough to say much about its dangers centuries from now,” he added.

    Asteroids hiding in Blind Spots can be dangerous

    There have been many cases when scientists couldn't see asteroids coming towards Earth. This is so because of observational blind spots. Basically, observation near the Sun is difficult as the strong glare dominates the weak light reflected from these small asteroids, which creates a blind spot.

    However, there is a small window to observe such asteroids which is just before and after sunset. There have been instances in the past when scientists detected an asteroid just a few hours before it flew by very close to the Earth. Horrifically, back in 2021, an asteroid 2021 UA1 flew past the Earth only a few thousand kilometres away, which was uncomfortably close. Luckily, due to its small size, it posed no risk to the Earth. While, in 2019, a massive asteroid with a 100-meter diameter came within just 70000 kilometres of the Earth. The worrying part is that it was found very late and publicly announced just some hours before its close approach.

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    First Published Date: 14 Nov, 21:43 IST
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