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NASA: 1,000 Near-Earth Objects Larger than One Kilometer Sighted

Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are asteroids and comets that can approach the Earth's orbital distance to within about 28 million miles (45 million kilometers).

They range in size from as small as a few feet to as large as 25 miles (41 kilometers) for the largest near-Earth asteroid, 1036 Ganymed.

More than 10,000 asteroids and comets that can pass near Earth have now been discovered.

The 10,000th near-Earth object, was first detected on the night of June 18, 2013, by the Pan-STARRS-1 telescope, located on the 10,000-foot (3,000-meter) summit of the Haleakala crater on Maui.

Of the 10,000 discoveries, roughly 10 percent are larger than six tenths of a mile (one kilometer) in size - roughly the size that could produce global consequences should one impact the Earth.

However, the NASA NEOO program has found that none of these larger NEOs currently pose an impact threat and probably only a few dozen more of these large NEOs remain undiscovered. Ninety-eight percent of all near-Earth objects discovered were first detected by NASA-supported surveys.

"The first near-Earth object was discovered in 1898," said Don Yeomans, long-time manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Over the next hundred years, only about 500 had been found. But then, with the advent of NASA's NEO Observations program in 1998, we've been racking them up ever since. And with new, more capable systems coming on line, we are learning even more about where the NEOs are currently in our solar system, and where they will be in the future." NASA.JPL

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