Real is the asteroid of the god of chaos

Astronomical hazard alerts Asteroid 2020 PM7 Flies By: How Dangerous Are Asteroids Really?

How many asteroids do you know?

Of the approximately one million asteroids currently known, only around 24,000 celestial bodies are so-called Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Where near-earth is not synonymous with dangerous, explains Liefke. This is the name given to just those asteroids whose distance from the sun is less than 1.3 times the distance from the earth to the sun.

"Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" (PHA for short) are those whose orbit approaches the Earth's orbit at less than 19.5 times the distance between Earth and Moon. That corresponds to around 7.5 million kilometers. For comparison: when Mars and Earth are closest, there are approximately 68 million kilometers of space between them.

It gets exciting at a distance of 30,000 to 50,000 kilometers. These near-Earth celestial bodies come close to the orbits of geostationary satellites.

Carolin Liefke, academic Employee at the House of Astronomy in Heidelberg

All celestial bodies close to the earth are not yet known. "There are search programs in which around six telescopes are currently searching the sky from Earth for potentially dangerous objects. You should know all of them in the next five years."

Which asteroids are really dangerous?

Large objects with a diameter of around 150 meters or more pose a particularly high risk. "The larger, the rarer the asteroids. An asteroid like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs hits the earth on average once every 100 million years," explains Liefke. "In contrast, hits from objects with an original size of one to two meters occur every year."