These potentially hazardous asteroids are a big RISK for all life on Earth! NASA shares list | Tech News

These potentially hazardous asteroids are a big RISK for all life on Earth! NASA shares list

A small percentage of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids can put all life on Earth at risk! Know all the asteroids listed by NASA.

| Updated on: Aug 06 2022, 19:38 IST
Asteroid fun facts in pics: NASA reveals all you need to know
1/5 Space is full of objects, out of which only a few have been discovered. Asteroids are some of these objects. If you are not aware about the dangerous objects called asteroids, here are some facts you should know. First, did you know that asteroids are sometimes called minor planets? Well, they are. (Pixabay)
2/5 Differences between an Asteroid, Comet, Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite: According to the information provided by NASA, Asteroid is a relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun. Comet is a relatively small, at times active, object whose ice can vaporize in sunlight forming an atmosphere (coma) of dust and gas and, sometimes, a tail of dust and/or gas. Meteoroid is a small particle from a comet or asteroid orbiting the Sun. Meteor is the light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and vaporizes, in short, a shooting star. While, Meteorite is a meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth's atmosphere and lands upon the Earth's surface. (NASA)
3/5 Asteroid: Size, frequency and impact- More than 100 tons of dust and sand sized particles are bombarded towards Earth everyday, according to NASA. While, about once a year, an automobile-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creates an impressive fireball, and burns up before reaching the surface. Every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area. Only once every few million years, an object large enough to threaten Earth's civilization comes along. Impact craters on Earth, the moon and other planetary bodies are evidence of these occurrences. Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere and cause little or no damage. By comparison, asteroids that populate the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and pose no threat to Earth, can be as big as 940 kilometers (about 583 miles) across. (NASA)
4/5 How is an Asteroid Orbit Calculated? An asteroid's orbit is computed by finding the elliptical path about the sun that best fits the available observations of the object. That is, the object's computed path about the sun is adjusted until the predictions of where the asteroid should have appeared in the sky at several observed times match the positions where the object was actually observed to be at those same times. (Pixabay)
5/5 What is NASA doing to find and learn more about potentially hazardous asteroids and comets? NASA has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The PDCO ensures the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) - asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth (5 million miles or 8 million kilometers) and of a size large enough to reach Earth's surface - that is, greater than approximately 30 to 50 meters. NASA tracks and characterizes these objects and issues warnings about potential impacts, providing timely and accurate information. NASA also leads the coordination of U.S. Government planning for response to an actual impact threat. (AFP)
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NASA shared the potentially hazardous asteroids list. (NASA/JPL)

Earth is surrounded by some celestial neighbours in the soar system and then there are the nasty ones that come calling, threatening to destroy everything in their paths! These are known as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), including comets and asteroids that travel close to the Earth. Any asteroid or comet that approaches our planet less than 1.3 times the distance from Earth to the Sun can be considered a NEO. However, the relieving fact is that most NEOs pose no peril at all. It is just a small percentage of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids which can put all life on Earth at risk.

But which are these nasty asteroids that hurtle towards the Earth with the potential of causing a global Armageddon? NASA defined these asteroids as the rocky fragments left over from the formation of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. Occasionally, the orbital paths of asteroids are influenced by the gravitational pull of planets, which can alter their paths. Remember that asteroid which struck straight the Earth and ended the age of dinosaurs? This was one of the examples in history.

However, NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies keeps an eye on all the near-Earth objects in space to detect any potential harm from these celestial bodies in advance. The space agency defines a potentially hazardous asteroid based on some parameters to know the threat of asteroids making close approaches to the Earth. There are still a few categories of asteroids which pose a threat to Earth and humankind. Based on perihelion distance (q), aphelion distance (Q) and their semi-major axes (a), NASA divided near-Earth asteroids into several groups. Here is what NASA shared.

List of potentially hazardous asteroids

  • Amors: Earth-approaching near-Earth asteroids with orbits exterior to Earth but interior to Mars. These are named after asteroid 1221 Amor.
  • Apollos: Named after asteroid 1862 Apollo, these near-Earth asteroids cross Earth with semi-major axes larger than Earth.
  • Atens: Earth-crossing near-Earth asteroids with semi-major axes smaller than Earth's. They are named after asteroid 2062 Aten.
  • Atiras: Near-Earth asteroids whose orbits are contained entirely within the orbit of the Earth.

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First Published Date: 06 Aug, 19:38 IST