NASA has now completed its Congress mandate to find 90% of all the humanity killing asteroids near Earth. They have actually registered 93 percent of all of these objects, which are so big that they would cause catastrophic damage on impact.
That means that, of all the asteroids one kilometer in diameter or larger near our home planet, they have individually identified about a thousand of them, recording their features and orbits into the Spaceguard project catalog. This information could now be used for tracking their whereabouts at any given time, as well as to project possibilities of collisions against our planet in the future.
NASA's Amy Mainzer, from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California, presented the findings at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco. In addition to the thousand killers, the Spaceguard project has catalogued 20,500 smaller asteroids in the same vicinity.
The chance of these asteroids hitting us any time soon is very low, however. According to Mainzer, it's a "not a very likely event."
That's great news.
Now, where the hell are all the killing asteroids in the 7 percent? [Reuters]