Two asteroids passing Earth

Two asteroids passing Earth

Two Near-Earth Objects (in this case, two asteroids) passing Earth. An ESA image, published in the “Space in Images” series by the European Space Agency.

A near-Earth object (NEO) is any small Solar System body whose orbit can bring it into proximity with Earth. By definition, a Solar System body is a NEO if its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) is less than 1.3 astronomical units (AU, roughly the distance between the Earth and the Sun, which was defined exactly as 149,597,870,700 meters or about 150 million kilometers or 93 million miles since 2012). If a NEO’s orbit crosses the Earth’s and the object is larger than 140 meters (460 ft) across, it is considered a potentially hazardous object (PHO). Most known PHOs and NEOs are asteroids.

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