A small percentage of potentially dangerous asteroids can endanger all life on Earth! Know all asteroids listed by NASA.
Earth is surrounded by some heavenly neighbors in the levitation system, and then come the bad guys who shout and threaten to destroy everything in their path! These are called Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), including comets and asteroids that pass close to Earth. Any asteroid or comet that approaches our planet within 1.3 times the distance from Earth to the Sun can be considered NEO. It is a relief, however, that most NEOs pose no threat at all. It’s only a small percentage of potentially dangerous asteroids that can endanger all life on Earth.
But which are these nasty asteroids that are hurtling towards Earth and have the potential to trigger 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 orbits of asteroids are affected by the gravitational pull of planets, which can alter their orbits. Remember the asteroid that hit 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 near-Earth objects in space to anticipate potential damage from these celestial bodies. The space agency defines a potentially dangerous asteroid based on some parameters to know the threat of asteroids approaching close to earth. There are still a few categories of asteroids that pose a threat to Earth and humanity. Based on the perihelion distance (q), the aphelion distance (Q) and their semimajor axes (a), NASA divided near-Earth asteroids into several groups. Here’s what NASA shared.
List of potentially dangerous asteroids
- Cupid: Approaching near-Earth asteroids with orbits outside Earth but inside Mars. These are named after the asteroid 1221 Amor.
- Apollos: Named after the asteroid 1862 Apollo, these near-Earth asteroids transit Earth with semimajor axes larger than Earth.
- Atens: Near-Earth cruising asteroids with semimajor axes smaller than Earth’s. They are named after the asteroid 2062 Aten.
- Atiras: Near-Earth asteroids whose orbits are entirely contained within Earth’s orbit.