Record number of asteroids seen whizzing past Earth in 2020

A 340-metre-wide space rock named Apophis whizzed safely past Earth on 6 March. The next time it returns, in 2029,

, Since 1998, scientists have detected more than 25,000 of them. And 2020 turned out to be a record year for discoveries

 astronomers catalogued 2,958 previously unknown near-Earth asteroids over the course of the year

Another batch of discoveries last year — 1,152 — came from the Pan-STARRS survey telescopes in Hawaii.

Some of the asteroids discovered last year came close to Earth — at least 107 of them passed the planet at a distance less than that of the Moon

All of these discoveries are making astronomers more conscious of the billiard-ball nature of the Solar System

scientists will have an even more detailed census of threatening space rocks.

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