Scientists have identified only about 40% of large asteroids and comets approaching the Earth, according to the report of the scientific and technical subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (.pdf).
In 2020, astronomical observatories located in more than 40 countries collected almost 39.5 million records of observations of asteroids and comets. At the same time, a record number of objects approaching the Earth was discovered – 2959. In total, as of April 17, 2021, scientists know about 25 647 such objects. In this case, the orbit of 2,180 listed asteroids passes at a distance of no more than 8 million km from the Earth’s orbit.
“In this regard, the subcommittee also noted that while these numbers are large, it is estimated that only about 40 percent of the significant near-Earth objects have been identified,” the report says.
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