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Every Single Recorded Close Call Earth Has Had With An Asteroid

Updated 19 Apr 2018 30.6k views47 items

List RulesOnly asteroids that have passed within one lunar distance (LD) of Earth without impacting.

With all the problems we're dealing with on Earth, it's easy to forget the constant threats floating around in the darkness of space. Just like the dinosaurs, humanity could be instantly wiped out by an impact from a flying chunk of space rock traveling roughly 25 km per second. A big enough asteroid could have apocalyptic repercussions, which is why NASA constantly monitors the skies for potential threats.

How close do asteroids get to Earth, exactly? Too close for comfort, according to data from NASA. The amount of close calls experienced in the last century alone is enough to keep most people up at night. At least 52 asteroids larger than a meter in size have passed within one lunar distance (LD) of Earth since 1910, and prediction models say there are plenty more to come.

The closest some of these asteroids have come to hitting the planet may surprise you. An LD is an astronomical unit of measurement based on the distance from the center of the Earth to the center of the Moon, which is pretty darn close when it comes to space travel. It's important to keep a list of asteroid passes, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves of how fragile we are. Luckily, only an asteroid that measures larger than 25 meters has a chance of making it through the atmosphere without burning up. This is a comprehensive list of all the times asteroids almost hit Earth – in case you were hoping to develop a phobia of meteors.

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