Twilight observations with the Dark Energy Camera at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, a program of the U.S. National Science Foundation-supported NOIRLab, have enabled astronomers to spot three near-Earth asteroids, or NEAs, hiding in the glare of the sun. One is the largest object potentially hazardous to Earth to be discovered in the last eight years. The NEAs are part of an elusive population that lurks inside the orbits of Earth and Venus.
This is a notoriously challenging region for observations because asteroid hunters must contend with the glare of the sun. By taking advantage of the brief yet favorable observing conditions during twilight, however, the astronomers found an elusive trio of NEAs. The results are reported in The Astronomical Journal.