Report: 'Planet Killer' Asteroid Hiding in Sun's Glare

Photo: NOIRLab [via CNN]

The Facts

  • Astronomers have found three near-Earth asteroids, dubbed "planet killers" due to their massive size, during a brief window of twilight. The asteroids were in an orbit between Earth and Venus, and are usually hidden within the sun's glare.

  • One of them, known as 2022 AP7, is around one mile long and gets as close as 4.4M miles to Earth within its orbital path — uncomfortably close by cosmic standards. It could potentially be the largest asteroid found in eight years.

The Spin

Narrative A

If an asteroid were to become an actual threat to life on Earth, it's important to detect them years in advance. More study, observations, and technological advancements for deflection are needed — this can't be a last-minute endeavor.

Narrative B

This is yet another headline where publications take the technical terms used by scientists and blow them out of proportion for clicks. In reality, anything as far out as 85% of the way to Mars could be considered "near-Earth." There are no cosmic worries in this story.

Nerd narrative

There's a 3% chance that space debris will kill a human on earth by 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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