The Planet Killer

Savannah Hoier, Author

An asteroid named 2022 AP7, also known as the “planet killer”, was discovered near Earth and Venus’ orbit along with a few other asteroids. The 2022 AP7 is 0.9 miles wide and has been hiding behind the sun’s glare but was recently seen using the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. According to LiveScience, “Planet killer” asteroids are space rocks that are big enough to cause a global mass extinction event, through the chucking up of dust into the upper atmosphere and the blotting out of the sun’s light, if they were to smash into Earth.” Over thousands of years, Earth and the asteroid will start to cross paths increasing the odds of an impact happening. Most of the time it is impossible to see these asteroids due to the sun’s glare but there were 10-minute windows around dusk each night when researchers were able to see which led to the discovery of this asteroid and others like it.