NASA drops number of asteroids near Earth, and what hasn't been found

NASA has posted a new video that's a part of its Planetary Defense series that reveals what NASA knows about asteroids and comets.

Published Thu, Dec 2 2021 1:02 AM CST   |   Updated Wed, Dec 22 2021 7:30 PM CST

NASA 360 posted a video to its YouTube that's a part of its Planetary Defense series that is detailing asteroids that are close to Earth.

The video was posted to the channel back in October and was recently shared to the NASA 360 Twitter account, where NASA posed itself the question, "What do we know about the asteroids and comets in Earth's neighborhood?". The video showcases what NASA knows about near-Earth asteroids by the numbers, and explains that while the majority of the potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroids have been found, there are still some thousands of undiscovered asteroids still out there in our neighborhood.

For those that don't know, Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are asteroids and comets that are orbiting the Sun and come within 30 million miles of Earth's orbit. The space agency explains in the description of the video that NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office was conceived to track, study NEOs, and if the situation presented itself, provide guidance into deflecting a potential threat to Earth. Below are the numbers outlined by NASA in the video.

NASA near-Earth object Statistics

  • 26,815 discovered near-Earth objects
  • 9,838 known near-Earth asteroids larger than 140 meters
  • 15,000 larger than 140 meters left to be found
  • 891 known near-Earth asteroids larger than 1 kilometer
  • 14 known asteroids passed closer to Earth than the Moon in the past 30 days
  • 127 known asteroids passed closer to the Earth than the Moon in the past 365 days
  • 100 tons of dust and sand-sized particles that bombard Earth daily
  • 160 meters is the length of the asteroid that NASA's Dart mission will impact in order to change its orbit
  • 23 years of NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program
  • 319,500,000 observations submitted to the Minor Planet Center
NASA drops number of asteroids near Earth, and what hasn't been found 01 |
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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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