Graphic Shows Biggest and Closest Near Earth Objects (and it’s not scary)

Article written: 26 Oct , 2010
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015


Just for fun, graphic design student Zachary Vabolis created this fantastic graphic showing the closest and biggest Near Earth Objects. However, Vabolis wants to make clear that the information represented here is not meant to portray that the end of the world is nigh. His image has appeared on several websites recently, and some of the headlines have included words such as “doomsday,” etc. But, that’s not what he intended.

“I’m not sure if anyone who has seen my graphic is reading more into it than I intended,” Vabolis told Universe Today, “but I wanted to state that I did not create this graphic to scare people. In fact if you look at the information it contains, Earth has almost no chance of being hit by any of the asteroids listed and NASA even mentions that as well on their website.”

Vabolis said he created the graphic because he really enjoys creating projects outside of his curriculum to help hone his skills, plus it is just a fun pastime for him. “I’ve always been fascinated by outer space so I wanted to do a graphic within that subject,” Vabolis said in an email. “I came up with the Near Earth Objects topic because it’s a fairly current subject and after doing a little research I found that no one else had created such a graphic yet.”

The graphic was created using the information on NASA’s Near Earth Object Fact Sheet website, which states, “There are no known NEO’s on a collision course with the Earth. There is a possibility that an as yet undiscovered large NEO may hit the Earth, but the probability of this happening over the next 100 years is extremely small.”

So breathe easy and enjoy learning more about NEO’s from Vabolis’ graphic. You can see more of his work at his page on Behance.


7 Responses

  1. Nelson Bridwell says

    This picture is not to scale. To scale, the Earth is a tiny dot, and the Moon would be even tinier. The NEOs would be so small that they woud be invisible…
    This pciture is clearly designed to alarm Chicken Little!

  2. GBendt says

    The writing in the graphic is too small to be readable at that graphic´s resolution. A text that cannot be read is not useful.

    It is self-evident that an asteroid that has been orbiting the sun since billions of years on its orbit that brings it close to Earth cannot harm us. If it were harmful, it wouldn´t be on that orbit any more, but would have hit us long ago. On the other hand, it is not the large NEOs that we may have to fear, but the many smaller ones that have not yet been discovered. The number of NEOs that are newly detected per year is still rising, and the fact that the number is rising means that there are still a lot more wo don´t know yet..

  3. Nyx says

    As far I know, the only natural satellite of our planet is the Moon. But in the above image, NEOs are displayed orbiting Earth. Is that correct?

  4. Nyx says

    “As far as I know”, sorry for that and other mistakes.

  5. Member
    Aqua says

    I had NO IDEA there were so many large potatoes and sponges out there!

  6. William928 says

    As it states in the caption, click on the graphic for a larger(and readable) version.
    The guy who created this is a graphic designer, not an astronomer or physicist. Give him a break!

  7. Nyx says

    OK William, I was just asking 🙂

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