These near-Earth objects are difficult to detect due to the bright light of the Sun, but now this problem has been solved.
Many near-Earth asteroids pose a potential danger to the Earth. And many of them are still unknown to science due to the fact that their orbits are too close to the Sun, and therefore they are difficult to detect. But the telescopes of the Palomar Observatory in California, USA and the Inter-American Observatory of Cerro Tololo, Chile, solve this problem. Thanks to them, scientists have discovered a large number of new near-Earth asteroids, reports ScienceAlert.
The study of near-Earth asteroids is a key factor in improving our knowledge of the evolution of the solar system and how the planets formed. Also, these asteroids can pose a danger to the Earth.
But many of them are hard to see due to the fact that they hide in the bright rays of the Sun, because their orbits are very close to our star. But over the past two years, scientists have been able to discover many new asteroids, about which nothing was known before, and these studies are ongoing now, which makes it possible for astronomers to replenish the catalog of new near-Earth objects.
“Bright sunlight is no longer a hindrance to the search for these near-Earth asteroids, as observations using telescopes at the Palomar Observatory and the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory prove this. It turned out that many unknown objects are flying in near-Earth space,” says Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution, Washington , USA.
The brightest representatives of new, recently discovered asteroids by scientists are Ayló'chaxnim 2020 AV2, whose orbit is inside the orbit of Venus, and 2021 PH27, an asteroid that has the shortest period of rotation around the Sun.
“Before this existence of such asteroids were predicted only by computer models, but now we know about the existence of a group of asteroids called Athyra, whose orbit is inside the Earth, Vatira, with an orbit inside the orbit of Venus, and there are also Vulcanoids. Astronomers have not yet discovered this group of asteroids, but models predict that they must fly within the orbit of Mercury,” Sheppard says.
Previous space observations have shown that a certain stable number of asteroids have formed in the solar system over many billions of years. But subsequent research has enabled scientists to suggest that their number is still increasing. This is especially true for near-Earth asteroids. As Focus already wrote, a new set of scientific data that astronomers obtained using the Gaia space telescope showed that in our planetary system these space rocks are at least 10 times larger than previously thought.
“Now the main theory of the origin of near-Earth asteroids is that almost all of them came to us from the main asteroid belt, which is located between Mars and Jupiter. But there may be other places that are much further away from which new asteroids arrive and replenish the number Atirov and Vatirov,” says Sheppard.
According to the scientist, the smaller the near-Earth asteroids, the more difficult it is to detect them. Although scientists believe that approximately 90% of asteroids that pose a threat to our planet and have a diameter of 1 km or more have already been discovered.
“But there are near-Earth astroids with a similar size that are too close to the Sun and have not yet been seen, but space surveys continue,” Sheppard says.
Ka has already reported Focus, in early July this year, a near-Earth asteroid approached the Earth at a very close distance, which could be detected just a few days before its dangerous approach to the planet.