According to the European Space Agency (ESA), NEOs are comets and asteroids orbiting the Sun from a distance of 1.3 astronomical units.

ESA said: “The term ‘near-Earth object’ basically refers to any natural object, like an asteroid, whose orbit brings it close to Earth.

“As of March 2019, we knew of more than 600,000 asteroids in our Solar System.

“Of these, around 20,000 are near-Earth objects, 800 of which are in ESA’s risk list, meaning that they merit close follow-up observations.”


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