The Loh Down On Science

Chances Are...

Think you'll win the lottery? You're better off betting on an asteroid.

Ever look up at a beautiful night sky and wonder, "What are the odds of being hit by an asteroid?"

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science

putting your fears to rest. Maybe.

Scientists at NASA and around the world have been working on the issue for a decade. Project "Spaceguard" identifies Near Earth Objects, or NEOs, that are one kilometer or larger in diameter and are on a collision course with . . . Us.

The NEO Discovery Teams use ground-based telescopes to scan our corner of space. This list of known NEOs can be used to estimate what's out there that we DON'T know about.

Experts calculate this by comparing the rate at which known NEOs are REdiscovered with the rate at which new ones are found.

The good news? Nearly 80% of NEOs have been identified. And, having survived Chinese New Year and the 4th of July, you've outlived the much higher probability of a fatal fireworks accident.

Bad news? A local asteroid impact, specifically targeting YOU, is way more likely than winning the lottery. Win some, lose some. You take care, now.


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