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NASA Survey Counts Potentially Hazardous Asteroids – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

August 4, 2013

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August 4, 2013 –Potential Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) More Numberous than Previously ThoughtPotentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are a subset of the larger group of near-Earth asteroids. Findings indicate there are roughly 4,700 PHAs, plus or minus 1,500, with diameters larger than 330 feet (about 100 meters). So far, an estimated 20 to 30 percent of these objects have been foundPictured above, a NASA plot of the typical PHA and NEA, reflecting the intercepted Earth orbit of the PHAs.

Pictured above, a NASA diagram shows an edge-on view of our solar system. The dots represent a snapshot of the population of NEAs and PHAs.

The new analysis also suggests that about twice as many PHAs as previously thought are likely to reside in “lower-inclination” orbits, which are more aligned with the plane of Earth’s orbit. Asteroids with lower-inclination orbits would be…

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