How often does an asteroid whiz by the Earth?
time-lapse animation follows the orbit of the
Earth around the Sun for two months in 2002 as numerous
also known as
approach and pass by.
appear out of nowhere
as they are plotted only when they were discovered.
Most asteroids plotted were
discovered only during the previous year.
Although none of the plotted objects came inside the orbit of our Moon, our Solar System is
filled with objects as small as bits of sand, usually left by a comet, that appear as meteors as they streak into the Earth's atmosphere every day.
The only objects displayed are those visible from
Earth closer than 20 million kilometers,
color coded by three-dimensional distance.
In comparison, the Earth is a relatively
small target having a radius of about 6,400 kilometers.
significant research area
in modern astronomy involves trying to find the
majority of asteroids that could pose a
future collision threat with Earth.
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