‘Planet killer’ asteroid spotted hiding in the sun’s glare

Astronomers have spotted three near-Earth asteroids that were lurking undetected within the glare of the sun. One of the asteroids is the largest potentially hazardous object posing a risk to Earth to be discovered in the last eight years.

The asteroids belong to a group found within the orbits of Earth and Venus, but they’re incredibly difficult to observe because the brightness of the sun shields them from telescope observations.

To avoid the sun’s glare, astronomers leaped at the chance to conduct their observations during the brief window of twilight. An international team spied the space rocks while using the Dark Energy Camera located on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope located at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

Their findings were published Monday in The Astronomical Journal.