Astronomers just found out that a number of asteroids could hide in the Sun’s glare and they would most likely be objects we’ve never detected as most telescope systems look outward from the Solar System despite the fact that these space rocks could be hiding in plain sight.
There are recent surveys that revealed never-before-seen asteroids hiding near the Planet Venus and others in our Solar System. These findings aren’t surprising to astronomers considering the way we’ve been observing space objects.
Pointing telescope systems away from the sun as well as the star’s glare being often too bright for these telescopes to see anything beyond it. The worst is the fact that these near-Earth asteroids could be potentially hazardous due to their sizes.
“Asteroid surveys generally operate at night, mostly finding objects beyond Earth’s orbit,” Scott S. Sheppard writes in a paper published in the journal Science.
“This creates a blind spot because many near-Earth objects (NEOs) could be lurking in the sunlight interior to Earth’s orbit,” Sheppard continues.
Sheppard then notes in the paper that recent surveys have been braving the sunlight to try and find never-before-seen asteroids hiding in the Solar System’s interior.
And those surveys have been somewhat successful.
How dangerous are NEOs?
Big space objects like the never-before-seen can pose a huge threat to Earth and everyone on the planet. An asteroid that is big enough can cause irreparable damage to the planet or even lead to an extinction-level situation just like the case of the dinosaurs.
Of course, the chances that happening from an asteroid strike are slim. But it isn’t impossible. And that’s why these recent surveys are proving so important. The Sun’s glare is easy to hide behind. It leaves room for never-before-seen asteroids and other NEOs to slip past unnoticed.
There have in fact been situations of several asteroids hitting the planet just hours after they were discovered. The good luck was that they weren’t big enough to make an impact and that is why scientists are worried about the potential threat posed by never-before-seen asteroids that could be hiding within the solar system’s interior.
However, government agencies across the globe including China are working on developing asteroid detection systems that could save us all.