NASA discovers 10 000th near Earth object
NASA has discovered the 10,000th near-Earth object (NEO) – a 1,000 feet (300 meters) wide asteroid named 2013 MZ5.
It is believed that at least 100,000 are still out there, Discovery News reported.
NEOs are asteroids and comets that approach Earth, coming within 28 million miles (45 million kilometers) of our planet during their orbit around the sun.
Lindley Johnson, program executive for NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations ( NEOO) Program at NASA Headquarters, said that finding 10,000 near-Earth object s is a significant milestone, but there are at least 10 times that many more to be found before they can be assured of any impact and do significant harm to Earth.
The latest asteroid was spotted by the Maui-based Pan-STARRS-1 telescope as part of a NASA-funded, University of Hawaii-managed PanSTARRS survey.
2013 MZ5 is by no means a hazardous asteroid and is not expected to be any threat to Earth of the foreseeable future.