DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Near-Earth asteroid. Computer artwork of a view across the surface of a large asteroid passing close to 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.
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