Video: What is a near-Earth asteroid?

June 29, 2018, European Space Agency

We often hear from astronomers and other scientists about 'near-earth asteroids' - lumps of rock and metal that orbit through our Solar System, and pass close enough to our planet to pose an impact risk.

But many people wonder what this means, and ask additional questions. How many are there? Where do they come from? And why should we care about them?

In less than 90 seconds, our video will answer these questions and more, and show what ESA is doing about the risks they pose, helping to safeguard our planet.

Credit: European Space Agency

Explore further: Asteroid coming close Friday: Don't worry, we're safe

Related Stories

Theft behind Planet 9 in our solar system

May 31, 2016

Through a computer-simulated study, astronomers at Lund University in Sweden show that it is highly likely that the so-called Planet 9 is an exoplanet. This would make it the first exoplanet to be discovered inside our own ...

First interstellar immigrant discovered in the solar system

May 21, 2018

A new study has discovered the first known permanent immigrant to our Solar System. The asteroid, currently nestling in Jupiter's orbit, is the first known asteroid to have been captured from another star system. The work ...

Small asteroid to safely pass close to Earth Sunday

September 4, 2014

(Phys.org) —A small asteroid, designated 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to Earth on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. At the time of closest approach, based on current calculations to be about 2:18 p.m. EDT (11:18 a.m. PDT / ...

Recommended for you

Exoplanet stepping stones

November 20, 2018

Astronomers have gleaned some of the best data yet on the composition of a planet known as HR 8799c—a young giant gas planet about 7 times the mass of Jupiter that orbits its star every 200 years.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.