Every Asteroid That Could Possibly Destroy Earth Shown In NASA Image Tracking Their Orbit

  @TreyeGreen t.green@ibtimes.com on August 05 2013 10:58 PM

If you've ever wondered just how many hazardous objects could possibly be threatening our existence here on Earth, NASA has a pretty vivid answer to your question. 

The eerily beautiful image above shows all of the 1,397 potentially hazardous asteroids, also known as PHAs, that surround Earth. In total, there are more than 1,400 potentially hazardous objects, or PHOs, surrounding Earth. PHOs include both asteroids and comets. To qualify as a PHO, the objects must be closer than 4.6 million miles and bigger than around 350 feet in diameter, reports Popular Science. 

These huge objects are closely monitored by NASA, offering just a little comfort that we would receive at least some warning if one decided to make an unplanned visit to our planet -- a collision that would spark a massive tsunami if it hit water or equally devastating destruction if it made contact with land. 

Luckily, "being classified as a PHA does not mean that an asteroid will impact the Earth,"  says NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a statement accompanying the image.

Though the objects won't be legitimate threats over the next hundred years, tracking them gives NASA more accurate predictions of their possible approaches and likelihood of impact in the future. 

Just this year, the large asteroid 1998 QE2 safely traveled past Earth, making for the closest approach the space rock and its moon will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries.

A list of all the PHAs can be found on the site for NASA's Near Earth Object Program.

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