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SIMULATION OF LOCATION OF NEAR-EARTH ASTEROIDS

The goal of the Catalina Sky Survey is to find and determine orbits of large (from 100 meters (330 feet) on up), potentially hazardous asteroids (PHA's).  PHA's are a subset of a larger group of near-Earth asteroids or NEA's.

This diagram shows an edge-on view of our solar system.

The dots represent the NEA’s and PHA’s that scientists think are likely to exist [based on the survey as of May 2012].

  • Positions of a simulated population of PHA’s are shown in bright orange,
  • and the simulated NEA’s are blue.
  • Earth’s orbit is green.

Many, but not all, of the PHA’s are more closely aligned with the plane of Earth’s orbit, or less tilted above and below the plane, than the NEA’s.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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