We’re celebrating Asteroid Day on June 30 with our top resources for learning about Near-Earth Objects.

Near-Earth Objects are space rocks, asteroids and comets whose orbit brings them into Earth’s neighbourhood. Of the more than 1,600 NEAs on the European Space Agency’s risk list, none are considered a significant threat for the next hundred years.

From the ESA and NASA, to the Global Fireball Observatory, we’ve looked near and far to bring you our top resources for learning more about Near-Earth Objects.

The NEOCC is the European Space Agency’s centre for computing asteroid and comet orbits and their probabilities of Earth impact.

In the NEOCC’s vast and accessible databases, you’ll find info on NEAs on their Risk List. This includes all current NEAs and Near-Earth Comets. Best of all, you can read or sign up for the excellent NEOCC newsletter. Visit the Near-Earth Objects Coordination Centre here.

NASA’s JPL Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS) is home to the Sentry impact monitoring system. Sentry analyses the possible future orbits of hazardous asteroids, searching for impact possibilities over the next century.

CNEOS provides data for every NEO, including orbital data and close approach summaries. CNEOS also hosts the NEO Deflection App, where you can compute deflecting a hypothetical asteroid earlier and by a specific amount. See more at the CENOS here.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU)’s Minor Planet Center is an excellent resource for keen stargazers.

Find here NEOs that need confirmation and recently searched parts of the sky, where you can add coverage info.

Dive into lists of potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) close-encounters through 2178, and dates of the last observation of comets. Plus, check out the predicted minor-planet and upcoming comet encounters for the next 33 years. Find out how you can contribute to the MPC here.

The nonprofit B612 Foundation is dedicated to defending our planet from asteroids. This includes helping establish the International Asteroid Warning Network.

The foundation’s Asteroid Institute uses computer science, instrumentation, and astronomy to find and track asteroids. In May 2024, the foundation identified 27,500 new asteroids, including over 100 NEAs, using Google Cloud tech. Get the latest news and scientific papers from the B612 Foundation here.

a comic book illustration of a near-earth asteroid

The Global Fireball Observatory (GFO) is led by Curtin uni’s Space Science and Technology Centre. The GFO is a collaboration of 19 partner institutions across nine countries and six continents.

Curtin’s Desert Fireball Network (part of the GFO) is an Australian network of over 50 digital observatories continually monitoring a third of Australia’s skies, all night, every night for fireballs; asteroids burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.

The GFO doesn’t monitor Near-Earth Objects before they impact Earth’s atmosphere, instead it combines images captured across its networks. This info helps its scientists work out the speed, direction, and impact location of a fireball and trace the object’s orbit back to the solar system. Find out more and get involved with the GFO here.

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Check out Astrotourism WA’s list of top towns for when you want to get away somewhere under dark skies.