⟨~|⊕⟩ ↔ near.earth

Welcome to the experimental online sandbox of random things on near-Earth science. Everything here is a work in progress and will remain so for the foreseeable future. If you can't get something on here to work, it probably doesn't.


Jun 20, 2017—The solar system visualization tool has been updated to permit the display of all near-Earth asteroids, in addition to all comets with orbits provided by the Minor Planet Center. Browser support for WebGL 2 is now necessary to run the visualization.

Near-Earth Object (NEO)—any asteroid or comet in the solar system following an orbit with

  • perihelion distance q < 1.3 au
  • orbital period P < 200 yr

Although often portrayed as existential threats to humanity, most NEO are completely harmless and will never threaten the Earth. Meanwhile, non-NEO—especially long-period comets—contribute a sizable fraction of large impact events in Earth's geologic record but pose little threat over human timescales.