Natural Disasters, June 14

2002       Near-Earth asteroid 2002 MN misses Earth by 75,000 miles, which is only about 1/3 the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

2015       A wildfire near Willow, Alaska burns over 6,500 acres.

Near Earth Asteroid misses are called NEO’s which stands for Near Earth Objects. They are any solar system body that comes in close proximity to Earth. These solar system bodies, including asteroids, comets and meteroids, even space junk are considered NEO’s. It the closest approach to the sun is less than 1.3 astronomical units it is considered an NEO. An astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the sun.

A term we should be more concerned with is potentially Hazardous objects or PHO’s. These are objects with a MOID, (minimum orbit intersection distance) of less than 0.05 astronomical units and an absolute magnitude of 22.



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