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Science And Nature

Inside the search for mysterious twilight asteroids

Published July 28, 2022

11 min read

A mysterious band of asteroids grazes the center of the solar system, hiding in sunlight and occasionally swooping near a rocky planet. Possibly the best known of the oddballs is really a cosmic rock discovered only 2 yrs ago referred to as Aylchaxnim, this means Venus girl in the language of Californias indigenous Pauma people.

Because the only known asteroid that lives entirely within the orbit of Venus, Aylchaxnim represents a largely unseen population of space rocksone which could threaten life once we know it.

Astronomers estimate theyve found a lot of the potentially hazardous asteroids that mainly exist beyond our home worlds orbit. But spotting inner asteroids is tricky because from Earths perspective, they live their lives sheathed in sunbeams, tucked behind a curtain of sunlight that telescopes cant pierce. Yet recently, astronomers have begun to pluck these rocks from the glare by looking for their faintly glowing signatures because the sun rests just underneath the horizon.

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