PHOs - Potentially Harzardous Objects

- Describe the orbits of Potentially Hazardous Objects (PHOs)
- Demonstrate an appreciation of the need to monitor the motion of PHOs

Scientists monitor bodies such as comets and Near Earth Asteroids that cross the path of Earth’s orbit. Their orbits are checked carefully. These are referred to as Potentially Hazardous Objects.

A lot of this work is done by amateurs, and scientists campaign for more funds in order to monitor more objects. It is feared that a comet, perhaps returning from the Sun so we cannot see it, or an unseen asteroid may be found that will hit Earth and there may be little time for us to take any action.

 

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Near Earth Asteroid Aphopis in April 2029. Click image for more information.


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NASA Near Earth Object Program Potentially Hazardous Asteroids
Daily Motion Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Apophis

Questions

Why is it important that scientists monitor PHOs?