Astronomy Essentials

How big are asteroids? Compare sizes in this video

How big are asteroids? Watch this video to see a comparison of the sizes of famous asteroids.

How big are asteroids?

See the relative sizes of 22 asteroids in this video from MetaBallStudios. Asteroids range from human-scale 2008 TC3, which exploded in the air over the Sudan in 2008, to the enormous, spherical dwarf planet Ceres, largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The first 10 objects shown in the video are near-Earth objects, some designated as potentially hazardous. The rest reside far away from Earth, mostly in the asteroid belt.

Want to learn more about asteroids? In 2021, ESO released the video below about the 42 largest objects in the main asteroid belt. ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile has imaged these 42 of the asteroids, showing the variety that exists in the region between Mars and Jupiter.

The 2024 lunar calendars are here! Best Christmas gifts in the universe! Check ’em out here.

Asteroids near Earth

Earth-crossing asteroids are space objects whose orbits cross that of Earth. Of course, Earth is most likely far away in its orbit from the spot where they cross. Here is a list of Earth-crossing minor planets.

Occasionally, Earth and an asteroid meet where their orbits connect. Fortunately, most of these asteroids are so small that they don’t make much of an impact.

How many known near-Earth objects are there? Thousands, but mostly very small. This chart shows how many scientists have been discovered between 1980 and 2023.

How big are asteroids: Chart showing red, orange and blue amounts, with orange and blue rising higher on the right, and blue peaking over 30,000.
The rate of discovery of near-Earth asteroids continues to rise steeply. Image via NASA/ Wikimedia Commons.
Animated image of thousands of tiny dots in donut-shaped orbit.
Thousands of asteroids are known and tracked. Image via NASA/ Wikipedia.

Bottom line: See how big 22 asteroids are in comparison to New York City.

Via Asteroid Watch at NASA

Read more about NEOs at Center for Near-Earth Object Studies

Read more: DART impact changed asteroid’s orbit, NASA confirms

November 3, 2023
Astronomy Essentials

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