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The asteroid “Planet Killer” approaches the Earth

The Carnegie Institute for Science has discovered an asteroid approaching Earth. This is the AP7 of 2022, 1.5 kilometers long. “The threat is not immediate,” said Scott Sheppard, a researcher at the center responsible for the find. The celestial body must take five years to circle the Sun and head towards the Earth, without necessarily colliding with it.

Sheppard explained that the Sun has the ability to alter the dynamics of the asteroid. In the event that the object falls to Earth, it would be the extinction of humanity.

The discovery was made by means of the Victor M. Blanco telescope, in Chile, with the results published in the scientific journal The Astronomical Journal. According to a statement by the North American research center NOIRLab, it is the “largest potentially dangerous object revealed in the past eight years”.

The study published in Astronomical Journal detected two other smaller asteroids: 2021 LJ4 and 2021 PH27. Both are far from the Earth, they do not present risks of approaching, nor of falling on the planet.

Identifying celestial bodies allows astronomers to study how asteroids move in space and how gravitational interactions and the sun’s heat can contribute to the fragmentation of boulders.

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