BIOHAZARDS - Space Environment

Near Earth Objects (NEOs), Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) and More inclusive of Meteors, Meteorites, Asteroids and Comets all have potential for great destruction.  Events such as the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded before impact. This meteor was approximately 20 meters in size exploding in the air with a blast yield of 400-500 kilotons of TNT .  Meteor Crater  in Arizona shows the power of a nickel-iron meteorite 50 meters in size impacting with the force of 10 megatons of TNT.  The majority of these objects have their origin within our Asteroid Belt but some can come from the Kuiper Belt and Ooort Cloud.  The Earth's distance from our Sun is one Astronomical Unit (au).  One AU is equal to 150 million km or 93 million miles.

     The Asteroid Belt exists between the orbits of Mars (1.66 AU) and Jupiter (52AU).
     The Kuiper Belt exists from the vicinity of Neptune (30 AU) out to 55 AU.
     The Oort Cloud (responsible for Comets) encompasses the edge of the Kuiper Belt out to
     approximately one light year (63, 239 AU).

Currently the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena CA operates the Center for Near Earth Object Studies.  The Chelyabinsk meteor was missed by JPL and our collective observation programs showing a need of increased surveillence of space objects. Europe has since created NEOShield-2 .

Near Earth Object / Potentially Hazardous Asteroids as of May 5, 2020










Keep in mind that these distances are minimum distance projections. These known objects orbits and distance can vary by solar and cosmic energy, gravity influences, and colliding with other objects.

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