List of asteroid close approaches to Earth


This is a list of examples where an asteroid or meteoroid travels close to the Earth. Some are regarded as potentially hazardous objects if they are estimated to be large enough to cause regional devastation.

Trajectory of 2004 FH in the Earth–Moon system
Goldstone radar images of asteroid 2007 PA8's Earth flyby in 2012

Near-Earth object detection technology greatly improved about 1998, so objects being detected as of 2004 could have been missed only a decade earlier due to a lack of dedicated near-Earth astronomical surveys. As sky surveys improve, smaller and smaller asteroids are regularly being discovered. The small near-Earth asteroids 2008 TC3, 2014 AA, 2018 LA and 2019 MO are the only four asteroids discovered before impacting into Earth (see asteroid impact prediction). Scientists estimate that several dozen asteroids in the 6–12 m (20–39 ft) size range fly by Earth at a distance closer than the moon every year, but only a fraction of these are actually detected.[1][2]

Timeline of approaches within one lunar distance


The average distance to the Moon (or lunar distance (LD)) is about 384,400 km (238,900 mi), which is around 30 times the diameter of the Earth.[3] Below are lists of close approaches less than one LD for a given year. (See also near-Earth asteroids published by the International Astronomical Union[note 1] and NEO Earth Close Approaches.)

Known asteroids passing <1 LD from Earth
year discovered on oppositiondiscovered laterdiscovered prior
2001
1
1
0
2002
2
0
0
2003
5
0
0
2004
10
0
0
2005
6
0
0
2006
12
0
0
2007
15
0
1
2008
20
0
0
2009
19
0
0
2010
22
0
0
2011
27
0
3
2012
22
0
0
2013
23
0
1
2014
32
0
0
2015
27
0
0
2016
60
0
0
2017
56
0
1
2018
91
0
2
2019
17
0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
  •   Discovered > 1 year in advance
  •   Discovered > 7 weeks in advance
  •   Discovered > 1 week in advance
  •   Discovered up to 1 week in advance
  •   < 24 hours' warning
  •   No warning

Closest known per year

Satellites in geostationary orbit

From the list in the first section, these are the closest-known asteroids per year that approach Earth within one lunar distance. More than one asteroid per year may be listed if its geocentric distance[note 2] is within a tenth of the lunar distance, or 0.10 LD. For comparison, since a satellite in a geostationary orbit has an altitude of about 36,000 km (22,000 mi), then its geocentric distance is 0.11 LD (approximately three times the width of the Earth).

The table shows that the years 2016 and 2017 had a total of 13 such close encounters that are known. Of these, eight were undetected until after they'd happened and only one was detected with more than 24 hours' notice. 2018 has fared better so far, with six out of the eight known close encounters being detected beforehand, albeit with less than 24 hours' notice in most cases.

This list does not include any of the hundreds of objects that collided with Earth, which were not discovered in advance, but were recorded by sensors designed to detect detonation of nuclear devices. Of the objects so detected, 78 had an impact energy greater than that of a 1-kiloton device (equivalent to 1000 tons of TNT), including 11 which had an impact energy greater than that of a 10-kiloton device i.e. comparable to the atomic bombs used in the Second World War.[4]

  Rows highlighted red indicate objects which were not discovered until after closest approach

  Rows highlighted yellow indicate objects discovered less than 24 hours before closest approach

  Rows left white indicate objects discovered 1–7 days before closest approach

  Rows highlighted green indicate objects discovered more than one week before closest approach

  Rows highlighted blue indicate objects discovered more than one year before closest approach, i.e. objects successfully cataloged on a previous orbit, rather than being detected during final approach.

YearDate of
closest approach
Date
discovered
ObjectNominal
geocentric
distance
(in 000's km)
Nominal
geocentric
distance
(in LD)
Size of object
(in meters)
(H)Ref
2095 2095-09-062010-09-052010 RF1239.10.10728.4JPL · CAD
2034 2034-05-062014-04-292014 HB17788.90.236–1428.1JPL · CAD
2032 2032-08-142008-02-182008 DB125.00.3219–4325.7JPL · CAD
2029 2029-04-132004-06-1999942 Apophis38.00.10310–34019.7JPL · CAD
2028 2028-06-262001-11-20(153814) 2001 WN5248.70.65610–140018.2JPL · CAD
2021 2021-02-092021-02-092021 CZ322.70.061.7–3.930.9JPL · CAD
2020
2020-11-132020-11-142020 VT49.30.024.8–1128.7JPL · CAD
2020-09-242020-09-182020 SW280.074.3–9.728.9JPL · CAD
2020-08-162020-08-162020 QG9.30.022.9–6.429.8JPL · CAD
2020-05-042020-05-042020 JJ13.50.032.7–630JPL · CAD
2020-02-012020-02-012020 CW15.70.040.83–1.932.6JPL · CAD
2019 2019-10-312019-10-312019 UN1312.60.0331.0–2.232.1JPL · CAD
2019-04-042020-02-152020 CD313.10.0341.9–3.531.7JPL · CAD
2019-01-082018-01-082019 AS515.10.0390.7–2.532.3JPL · CAD
2019-03-012019-03-012019 EH123.50.0612–630.1JPL · CAD
2019-03-042019-03-05C09Q4H226.60.069[note 3]1–331.9Pseudo-MPEC
CNEOS Distance (T)
2019-01-172019-01-16P10LGkb33.70.088[note 4]1–331.6Pseudo-MPEC
CNEOS Distance (H) (T)
2019-09-052019-09-062019 RP1370.107.3–1627.8JPL · CAD
2018 2018-06-022018-06-022018 LA5.0
(Impact)
0.0130
(Impact)
2–430.5JPL · CAD
2018-10-192018-10-192018 UA13.70.0362–630.2JPL · CAD
2018-01-222018-01-22
(Unconfirmed)
A106fgF20?0.03?2–530.6
2018-06-172018-06-17
(Unconfirmed)
A107j4p30.80.0804–1128.9
2018-11-162018-11-172018 WG30.90.0803–1029.3JPL · CAD
2018-12-022018-11-292018 WV133.00.086430.2JPL · CAD
2018-08-102018-08-112018 PD2033.50.0877–2227.4JPL · CAD
2018-01-182018-01-182018 BD39.20.102–630.2JPL · CAD
2017 2017-04-042017-04-032017 GM16.30.0422–729.9JPL · CAD
2017-10-202017-10-212017 UJ218.00.0471–530.8JPL · CAD
2017-10-222017-10-30
(Unconfirmed)
YU95BEF19.40.0515–1528.2
2017-03-022017-03-022017 EA20.90.0541–530.7JPL · CAD
2017-11-262017-11-262017 WE3030.10.0781–331.8JPL · CAD
2017-11-142017-11-20
(Unconfirmed)
P10ELNY31.70.0834–1228.8
2017-11-082017-11-16
(Unconfirmed)
A104Vqx33.20.0864–1428.4
2016 2016-02-252016-02-262016 DY3014.30.042–530.5JPL · CAD
2016-09-112016-09-112016 RN4123.70.061–531.0JPL · CAD
2016-01-122016-01-132016 AH16426.70.073–729.6JPL · CAD
2016-03-112016-03-152016 EF195[5]31.70.0816–3125.6JPL · CAD
2016-11-052016-11-14
(Unconfirmed)
XV88D4F36.70.092–730.0[6]
2016-01-142016-01-142016 AN16437.00.102–530.5JPL · CAD
2015 2015-09-222015-09-242015 SK726.60.073–1428.9JPL · CAD
2015-11-152015-11-142015 VY10534.60.094–929.0JPL · CAD
2015-02-172015-02-182015 DD139.30.101–330.4JPL · CAD
2014 2014-01-022014-01-012014 AA0.45[7][8]
(Impact)
0.001
(Impact)
2–430.9JPL · CAD
2014-06-032014-06-022014 LY2116.70.044–829.1JPL · CAD
2014-09-072014-09-012014 RC39.90.1012–2526.8JPL · CAD
2013 2013-12-232013-12-232013 YB27.30.07331.4JPL · CAD
2013-02-152012-02-23367943 Duende34.10.093024.0JPL · CAD
2012 2012-05-292012-05-282012 KT4220.80.05929.0JPL · CAD
2011 2011-02-042011-02-042011 CQ1[9]11.90.03132.1JPL · CAD
2011-06-272011-06-222011 MD18.70.051428.0JPL · CAD
2011-02-062011-02-072011 CF2240.20.102.430.9JPL · CAD
2010 2010-11-172010-11-162010 WA38.90.102–630.0JPL · CAD
2009 2009-11-062009-11-062009 VA20.40.054–1328.6JPL · CAD
2008 2008-10-072008-10-062008 TC35.9
(Impact)
0.0152
(Impact)
4.130.4JPL · CAD
2008-10-092008-10-092008 TS2612.60.030.5-1.633.2JPL · CAD
2008-10-202008-10-212008 US32.90.091–431.4JPL · CAD
20072007-10-172007-10-212007 UN1269.70.184–1128.7JPL · CAD
20062006-02-232006-02-222006 DD1117.50.3112–3026.5JPL · CAD
20052005-11-262005-11-252005 WN383.80.223–629.9JPL · CAD
20042004-03-312004-03-312004 FU16212.90.034–1228.7JPL · CAD
20032003-09-272003-09-282003 SQ22284.20.222–630.1JPL · CAD
20022002-12-112002-12-132002 XV90117.70.3119–4725.5JPL · CAD
20012001-01-152001-01-192001 BA1679.00.2115–3826.0JPL · CAD
19991999-03-1220132013 EC20315.40.823–1229.0JPL · CAD
19941994-12-091994-12-091994 XM1105.50.275–1628.2JPL · CAD
19931993-05-201993-05-211993 KA2149.20.393–1129.0JPL · CAD
19911991-01-181991-01-181991 BA168.20.444–1328.6JPL · CAD
19901990-09-1920032003 SW130213.90.563–1029.1JPL · CAD
19841984-01-1020162016 TB57294.80.7713–4326.0JPL · CAD
19821982-11-0420122012 TY52314.40.82111–35821.2JPL · CAD
19791979-09-0220142014 WX202334.30.873–829.6JPL · CAD
19761976-10-1720132013 UG1328.10.8570–22622.4JPL · CAD
19711971-04-1120022002 JE9237.00.62122–39321.2JPL · CAD
19651965-10-2720052005 VL1289.20.7510–3326.6JPL · CAD
19591959-01-2720122012 BX34203.40.536–2127.6JPL · CAD
19571957-12-1020102010 XW5860.80.1622–7124.9JPL · CAD
19551955-06-1920152015 LR21225.60.5911–3426.5JPL · CAD
19541954-03-1320132013 RZ53102.70.271–431.1JPL · CAD
19491949-01-0120032003 YS70259.60.683–1029.1JPL · CAD
19381938-11-0220182018 RW105.00.272-530.3JPL · CAD
19361936-01-0620102010 VB1212.60.5561–14023.2JPL · CAD
19351935-03-0820152015 DD54182.80.4818–5725.4JPL · CAD
19251925-03-2920122012 FT3539.30.104-929.2JPL · CAD
19221922-06-0720172017 LD18.20.0471127.5JPL · CAD
19181918-09-172011(458732) 2011 MD5350.10.91556–179517.9JPL · CAD
19141914-12-311998(152680) 1998 KJ9232.90.61279–90019.4JPL · CAD
19101910-05-0920072007 JB21288.70.7518–5725.4JPL · CAD

A notable case is the relatively large asteroid Duende, which was predicted nearly a year in advance, coincidentally approaching just a few hours after the unrelated Chelyabinsk meteor, which was unpredicted, but injured thousands of people when it impacted.

Largest per year

From the lists in the first section, these are the largest-known asteroids per year that approach Earth within one LD. (More than one asteroid per year may be listed if its size is 100 m [330 ft] or more.) For comparison, the 1908 Tunguska event was caused by an object about 60–190 m (200–620 ft) in size, while the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor which injured thousands of people and buildings when it generated a large airburst over Russia was estimated to be just 20 m (66 ft) across.

The table shows about 14 events in the 12 decades of 1900–2020 involving a body with an upper size estimate of 100 m (330 ft) or more making a close approach to Earth within one LD, with one (the Tunguska object) making impact.

Trajectory of the relatively large 2005 YU55 compared with the orbits of Earth and the Moon on 8–9 Nov 2011
YearDate of
closest approach
ObjectNominal
geocentric
distance
(in 000s km)
Nominal
geocentric
distance
(in LD)
Est. size
(in m)
(H)Ref
20292029-04-1399942 Apophis38.00.10310–34019.7JPL · CAD
20282028-06-26(153814) 2001 WN5248.70.65921–94218.3JPL · CAD
20192019-07-252019 OK780.257–13023.3JPL · CAD
20182018-01-032018 AH2980.7765–22622.5JPL · CAD
2018-05-152010 WC92030.5342-13623.5JPL · CAD
2018-04-152018 GE31930.5048–11023.6JPL · CAD
20172017-07-212017 QP1630.1631–9124.3JPL · CAD
20162016-03-212016 FN563841.0035–8624.2JPL · CAD
20152015-01-182015 BP5132400.6212–2726.7JPL · CAD
20142014-03-052014 DX1103490.9120–4025.7JPL · CAD
20132013-08-042013 PJ103710.976024.6JPL · CAD
20122012-04-012012 EG52300.606024.3JPL · CAD
20112011-11-08(308635) 2005 YU553240.8436021.9JPL · CAD
2011-12-032011 XC23470.9010023.1JPL · CAD
20102010-11-022010 UJ72860.7420–4925.4JPL · CAD
20092009-03-022009 DD45720.1915–4725.8JPL · CAD
20082008-02-152008 CK703710.9722–7124.9JPL · CAD
20072007-01-182007 BD3240.8418–5725.4JPL · CAD
20062006-02-232006 DD11170.3111–3426.5JPL · CAD
20052005-12-052005 XA82170.5715–4925.7JPL · CAD
20042004-03-182004 FH490.1315–4925.7JPL · CAD
20032003-12-062003 XJ71480.3911–3626.4JPL · CAD
20022002-06-142002 MN1200.3140–13023.6JPL · CAD
20012001-01-152001 BA163060.8013–4326.0JPL · CAD
19991999-08-122016 CD1371790.4713–4326.0JPL · CAD
19941994-12-091994 XM11050.275–1628.2JPL · CAD
19931993-05-201993 KA21490.393–1129.0JPL · CAD
19911991-04-082012 UE343220.8446–14923.3JPL · CAD
19901990-09-192003 SW1301860.483–1029.1JPL · CAD
19881988-10-162010 UK3220.849–3026.8JPL · CAD
19821982-11-042012 TY523140.82111-35821.4JPL · CAD
19801980-05-182009 WW7740.194-1128.9JPL · CAD
19761976-10-172013 UG1328.10.8570–22622.4JPL · CAD
19711971-04-112002 JE9237.00.62122–39321.2JPL · CAD
19361936-01-062010 VB1212.60.5548–15623.2JPL · CAD
19251925-08-30(163132) 2002 CU11347.00.90443–46718.5JPL · CAD
19181918-09-17(458732) 2011 MD5350.10.91556–179517.9JPL · CAD
19141914-12-31(152680) 1998 KJ9232.90.61279–90019.4JPL · CAD

The year 2011 was notable as two asteroids with size 100 m (330 ft) or more approached within one lunar distance.

Passed by outside of atmosphere


Objects with distances greater than 100 km (62 mi) are listed here, although there is no discrete beginning of space.

Objects < 50 meters

Asteroids smaller than about 50 m (160 ft).[10]

2020 QG—Closest asteroid flyby to not hit Earth, at 2,900 km (1,800 mi), closest approach on 16 August 2020.[11][12]

Nominal
geocentric
distance (AU)
Nominal
geocentric
distance (km)
Size (m)
(approximate)
Date of
closest approach
ObjectRef
0.00007911,9001February 4, 20112011 CQ1JPL · CAD
0.00008412,5001October 9, 20082008 TS26JPL · CAD
0.00008612,9006March 31, 20042004 FU162JPL · CAD
0.00008813,1001.9–3.5April 4, 20192020 CD3JPL · CAD
0.00012518,70010June 27, 20112011 MD[13]JPL · CAD
0.00013720,4007November 6, 20092009 VAJPL · CAD
0.00013920,8004–10May 29, 20122012 KT42JPL · CAD
0.00017726,5003–14September 22, 20152015 SK7JPL · CAD
0.0001827,0003December 23, 20132013 YBJPL · CAD
0.00022133,0004December 2, 20182018 WV1JPL · CAD
0.00022733,9005December 19, 20042004 YD5JPL · CAD
0.00022834,10040×20[14]February 15, 2013367943 Duende[15]JPL · CAD
0.00026038,9003November 17, 20102010 WAJPL · CAD
0.00026239,3001–3February 17, 20152015 DD1JPL · CAD
0.00026739,90012–25September 7, 20142014 RCJPL · CAD
0.00026940,2002.4February 6, 20112011 CF22JPL · CAD
0.00032849,10030March 18, 20042004 FHJPL · CAD
0.00034651,8005–10October 12, 20102010 TD54JPL · CAD
0.00038357,30025May 28, 20122012 KP24[16]JPL · CAD
0.00043765,4008January 27, 20122012 BX34JPL · CAD
0.00048272,1009September 8, 20102010 RK53JPL · CAD
0.00048372,20019March 2, 20092009 DD45JPL · CAD
0.00048472,4002–7December 11, 20132013 XS21JPL · CAD
0.00053179,4007September 8, 20102010 RF12JPL · CAD
0.00056484,3005September 27, 20032003 SQ222JPL · CAD
0.00056885,00015March 18, 20092009 FHJPL · CAD
0.00063595,00017October 12, 20122012 TC4JPL · CAD
0.000704105,40010December 9, 19941994 XM1[17]JPL · CAD
0.000856128,0002October 13, 20152015 TC25JPL · CAD
0.000862129,00015–30January 13, 20102010 AL30JPL · CAD
0.000998149,2007May 20, 19931993 KA2[17]JPL · CAD
0.001124168,2006–10January 18, 19911991 BAJPL · CAD
0.001539230,20047April 1, 20122012 EG5JPL · CAD
0.001655247,60012September 8, 20102010 RX30JPL · CAD
0.002454367,10010–17March 4, 20132013 ECJPL · CAD
0.00257384,400average distance to the Moon[3]
0.002899433,60022April 9, 20102010 GA6JPL · CAD

Objects > 50 meters

Goldstone radar image of asteroid 2005 YU55 taken November 7, 2011

Asteroids larger than about 50 m (160 ft).[10][18]

Nominal
geocentric
distance (AU)
Nominal
geocentric
distance (km)
Size (m)
(approximate)
Date of
closest approach
ObjectRef
0.00052178,00057–130July 25, 20192019 OKJPL · CAD
0.000802120,00073June 14, 20022002 MNJPL · CAD
0.00155*233,000500December 31, 1914(152680) 1998 KJ9JPL · CAD
0.00159*239,000200April 11, 19712002 JE9JPL · CAD
0.00210*314,000200November 4, 19822012 TY52JPL · CAD
0.002172324,900360November 8, 2011(308635) 2005 YU55JPL · CAD
0.00219*328,000150October 17, 19762013 UG1JPL · CAD
0.0022**329,000100April 8, 19912012 UE34JPL · CAD
0.0023*340,000730August 30, 1925(163132) 2002 CU11JPL · CAD
0.0023340,000100December 3, 20112011 XC2JPL · CAD
0.00257384,400average distance to the Moon[3]
<0.00266*<398,000100January 6, 19362010 VB1JPL · CAD
0.002891432,400500July 3, 20062004 XP14JPL · CAD
0.003704554,200250January 29, 20082007 TU24JPL · CAD
0.004241*634,500300April 26, 194269230 HermesJPL · CAD
0.004572684,000300March 22, 19894581 AsclepiusJPL · CAD
0.004950740,500300October 30, 193769230 HermesJPL · CAD
0.0062*930,000200December 27, 19762010 XC15JPL · CAD
0.008361,251,000325June 8, 20142014 HQ124JPL · CAD
0.0093*1,390,0005000August 27, 1969(192642) 1999 RD32JPL · CAD
0.01248551,867,800400December 16, 2001(33342) 1998 WT24JPL · CAD
0.0364155,447,6001000June 14, 20122012 LZ1JPL · CAD
0.0432946,476,6001600November 5, 2012(214869) 2007 PA8[19]JPL · CAD
0.0463326,900,0005400December 12, 20124179 Toutatis[20]JPL · CAD

Asteroids with large uncertainty regions are not included.

* Asteroid approach did not occur during an observed apparition. Passage is calculated by integrating the equations of motion.

** Only the nominal (best-fit) orbit shows a passage this close. The uncertainty region is still somewhat large due to a short observation arc.

Predicted encounters


Incomplete list of asteroids larger than about 50 m (160 ft) predicted to pass close to Earth (see also asteroid impact prediction and Sentry (monitoring system)):[18][21]

Nominal
geocentric
distance (AU)
Nominal
geocentric
distance (km)
Size (m)
(estimated)
Date of
closest approach
ObjectJPL-Ref
0.00025638,300325April 13, 202999942 ApophisJPL · CAD
0.000670100,20075–170October 19, 21292007 UW1JPL · CAD
0.000721107,80050–120April 8, 20412012 UE34JPL · CAD
0.001572235,200170–370January 2, 2101(456938) 2007 YV56JPL · CAD
0.001585237,000360±40November 8, 2075(308635) 2005 YU55JPL · CAD
0.001629243,700370–840December 1, 2140(153201) 2000 WO107JPL · CAD
0.001635**244,600190–420October 26, 20872011 WL2JPL · CAD
0.001663248,800700–1500June 26, 2028(153814) 2001 WN5JPL · CAD
0.001980296,200170–370January 22, 2148(85640) 1998 OX4JPL · CAD
0.002222332,500190–250May 28, 20652005 WY55JPL · CAD
0.002241335,20075–170March 23, 21462009 DO111JPL · CAD
0.00257384,400for comparison, this is the average distance to the Moon[3]

A list of predicted NEO approaches at larger distances is maintained as a database by the NASA Near Earth Object Program.[22]

** Only the nominal (best-fit) orbit shows a passage this close. The uncertainty region is still somewhat large due to a short observation arc.

Earth grazers


All-sky photo with the Earth-grazing meteoroid of 13 October 1990 (the light track across the picture going from the south to the north) taken at Červená hora (Czechoslovakia), one of the stations of the European Fireball Network. The bright track on the left is the Moon.

Objects which enter and then leave Earth's atmosphere, the so-called 'Earth-grazers', are a distinct phenomenon, in as much as entering the lower atmosphere can constitute an impact event rather than a close pass. Earth grazer can also be short for a body that "grazes" the orbit of the Earth, in a different context.

Altitude
(km)
Size (m)
(approximate)
Mass (kg)
(approximate)
Date of
closest approach
ObjectNoteRef.
0mean sea level
8.8Mount Everest (height)
585105–106August 10, 19721972 Great Daylight Fireball above the United States and CanadaFirst scientifically observed[23]
71.4100March 29, 20062006 Earth-grazing Fireball above Japan

[24]

98.744October 13, 19901990 Earth-grazing Fireball above Czechoslovakia and PolandFirst captured from 2 distant locations, which enabled computing its orbit by geometrical methods[25]
August 7, 20072007 Earth-grazing FireballIts pre-encounter orbit belonged to the rare Aten type[26]
100Kármán line

Animations


Known near-Earth objects – as of January 2018
Video (0:55; July 23, 2018)
Animation of the 2015 TB145 (NEO) flyby, as seen from the center of the Earth, with hourly trace circles along the path of motion

Overview


Plot of orbits of known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (size over 140 m [460 ft] and passing within 7.6 million km [4.7 million mi] of Earth's orbit) as of early 2013 (alternate image)

Notes


  1. "Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs): A Chronology of Milestones" Archived 2013-03-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Distance from the center of Earth to the center of the object. See the NASA/JPL Solar System Dynamics Glossary: Geocentric Archived 2013-02-14 at the Wayback Machine. Earth has a radius of approximately 6,400 km.
  3. the asteroid is unconfirmed and will likely never receive a provisional designation.
  4. Distance error: 0.000420 AU, approach range: 0.016 to 0.25 LD. There was a roughly 2% chance of impact. The asteroid is most likely between 1 and 14 meters across, so would probably be detectable. The asteroid is unconfirmed and will likely never receive a provisional designation.

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