Asteroid Near Miss Maps

Anyone of a nervous disposition look away now.

Asteroids Near Earth - Armagh Observatory

This regularly updated diagram on the Armagh Observatory website plots out asteroids within 45 million kilometres distance of the Earth.  Yep,  that’s the Earth  half-hidden in the middle.

The vertical lines represent objects’ distance from the plane of the Earth’s orbit, the little arrows their motion over the next 24 hours. Asteroids shown in red are ‘near’ misses – passing within 10 times the moon’s orbital distance from us.

On the same theme, the Jet propulsion Lab has a database browser, where plugging in the name of any small body fetches a neat little orbit diagram and animation. This is 2011 BQ50 – the near miss object in the screenshot above.

 Asteroid Near Miss Orbital Diagram

Alternatively, you can check for Armageddon coming by browsing through JPL’s list of 1200 (!) Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.


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