These are the asteroids to worry about

Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighborhood. Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system while most of the rocky asteroids formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago. The giant outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed from an agglomeration of billions of comets and the left over bits and pieces from this formation process are the comets we see today. Likewise, today’s asteroids are the bits and pieces left over from the initial agglomeration of the inner planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

As the primitive, leftover building blocks of the solar system formation process, comets and asteroids offer clues to the chemical mixture from which the planets formed some 4.6 billion years ago. If we wish to know the composition of the primordial mixture from which the planets formed, then we must determine the chemical constituents of the leftover debris from this formation process – the comets and asteroids.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Asteroids

The top 10 list of most dangerous asteroids on the basis of the report given by the International Space Agency are discussed below:

10. 2002 CE

It is a stony asteroid, classified as near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid of the Amor group. It was discovered by astronomers of the LINEAR program at Lincoln Laboratory’s Experimental Test Site near Socorro, New Mexico, in the United States on 1 February 2002.

9. Geographos

It is a highly elongated, stony asteroid, near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid of the Apollo group. It was discovered by astronomers Albert George Wilson and Rudolph Minkowski at the Palomar Observatory in California, United States on 14 September 1951. It will not intersect the Earth until 2586.   Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.34 and an inclination of 13° with respect to the ecliptic, so it is also a Mars-crosser asteroid.

8. Toutatis

It is an elongated, stony asteroid and slow rotator and considered as near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid of the Apollo and Alinda group. It was discovered by French astronomer Christian Pollas at Caussols in 1989. It passed to the Earth in 2016 but according to the International Space Agency, it will not make another notably close approach until 2069.

7. Oljato

It is stony and extremely eccentric asteroid and sizable near-Earth object of the Apollo group. It was discovered by American astronomer Henry L. Giclas at the U.S Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, on 12 December 1947. According to the International Space Agency, it is a potentially hazardous celestial object due to its size and its Earth minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.0031 AU (460,000 km), which is only about 1.2 lunar distances.

6. Midas

It is a vestoid asteroid considered as a near-Earth object. It was discovered by American astronomer Charles Kowal at Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California on 6 March 1973. It has a low minimum orbit intersection distance with Earth of 0.0036 AU (Astronomical unit) but still listed in a potentially hazardous asteroid list.

5. Cuno

It is rare-type asteroid and considered as near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid of the Apollo group. It was discovered by the German astronomer Cuno Hoffmeister at Boyden Observatory in Bloemfontein, South Africa on 5 June 1959. As per International Space Agency, it will approach to the Earth in the 21st century. It revolves on the eccentric orbit, so it is also a Mars and Venus-crosser.

4. Florence

It is a stony trinary asteroid of the Amor group and considered as a near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.0–2.5 AU once every 2 years and 4 months (859 days); the orbit has an eccentricity of 0.42 and an inclination of 22° with respect to the ecliptic. Hence, space agencies predicted that it has minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID ≤ 0.05 AU) and has potential to intersect the Earth.

3. Mithra

It is an eccentric asteroid and suspected contact-binary, considered as near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid, approximately 2 kilometres in diameter. It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and is a relatively slow rotator. It was discovered by the Belgian astronomer Eric Elst and Bulgarian astronomer Vladimir Shkodrov at Rozhen Observatory on 22 September 1987. It had passed from the Earth on 14 August 2000.

2. Zephyr

It is a stony asteroid, classified as potentially hazardous asteroid and near-Earth object of the Apollo group, approximately 2 kilometres in diameter. It was discovered by astronomers of the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search at Anderson Mesa Station near Flagstaff, Arizona on 11 April 1999. Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.49 and an inclination of 5° with respect to the ecliptic. Hence, the number of space agencies predicted that in future it will intersect with Earth in 2021, 2032 and 2043. It had already approached the Earth in 2010 but was crossed with marginal distance.

1. Bennu

It is a carbonaceous asteroid in the Apollo group discovered by the LINEAR Project on 11 September 1999. According to the latest research, it has 1 in 2700 chance of hitting Earth on the 21th of September 2135. It is considered as the potential hazardous celestial body on the list of the Sentry Risk Table. It is 54 million miles from the Earth and orbits Sun.