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The known near Earth asteroid catalog now tops 30,000

Chart of NEA's discovered over time

The catalog of known near Earth asteroids that have been identified using a number of survey telescopes in space and on the Earth now totals 30,039. As defined at the link:

An asteroid is called a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) when its trajectory brings it within 1.3 Astronomical Units (au) of the Sun. 1 au is the distance between the Sun and Earth, and so NEAs can come within at least 0.3 au, 45 million km, of our planet’s orbit.

Currently, near-Earth asteroids make up about a third of the roughly one million asteroids discovered so far in the Solar System. Most of them reside in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

NEAs are also called NEOs (Near Earth Objects). The chart above, produced by the Center for NEO Studies which tracks these objects, shows the number of NEAs discovered over time.

Of the 30,039 now known, about 1,400 have orbits with “a non-zero” chance of hitting the Earth. None however will do so in the next hundred years at least.

Though the pace of discovery is vastly improving — as indicated by the steep rise in the curve in the graph — only when that curve begins to flatten out will we know that we are getting close to having a more-or-less complete survey of these objects.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Call Me Ishmael

    “… near-Earth asteroids make up about a third of the roughly one million asteroids discovered so far”

    A third of a million is 300,000, not 30,000. Is the rest of this study equally reliable?

  • Call Me Ishmael: Heh. The writer of the press release clearly goofed. I think the one-third number comes from the number of NEAs they expect eventually to find, which would be about 300,000.

  • Col Beausabre

    I’d like to send the NEA to space – deeeeep space

  • John

    I have no link, study, or proof; but I suspect the real threat are high speed intersteller objects that will come out of nowhere, maybe in swarms measured over centuries or millennia as the solar system moves about the galaxy. The large NEOs seem to have plateaued and the remainder to be found are roughly the size of city busters. The environment around Earth is relatively benign in this day and age, we’ve had billions of years to sweep up the impactors.

    That being said, Giant Meteor 2024.

  • SMOD 2024 … Not Into Virtue Signalling

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