Near-Earth asteroid, artwork

Near-Earth asteroid, artwork

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Near-Earth asteroid. Computer artwork of a view across the surface of a 10km wide asteroid only 1000 seconds away from colliding with the Earth. Near-Earth asteroids are asteroids whose orbits bring them in close proximity with the Earth. If an asteroid's orbit intersects with that of the Earth it is a collision risk. Any asteroid over 1 kilometre in diameter that impacted the Earth would cause catastrophic effects. This one, at 10km, would almost certainly wipe out human life, and possibly all life on Earth.

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