(Not a) Deep impact

8 huge asteroids that will not hit Earth in 2020

NASA's got us covered

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The thought of an asteroid impact is scary.

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Although Earth is pummeled by tiny bits of space rock every day, large asteroids have the capacity to destroy entire cities.

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NASA is constantly on the lookout for asteroids that come close to Earth while they orbit the Sun.

Afshin Taylor Darian

Asteroids that orbit the Sun within 30 million miles of Earth are called Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).

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If an asteroid larger than 450 feet comes closer than 4 million miles, it's designated as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA).

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Observers spot asteroids by looking for bright lights moving against a background of stars.

NASA’s team of asteroid-hunters has discovered more than 9,000 NEOs 450 feet and larger.

This table from NASA compiles close approaches coming up in 2020 (and beyond).

Up next: the 8 biggest asteroids that will safely pass us by this year.

May 21:

1997 BQ will safely pass at a distance of nearly 4 million miles. This asteroid is the length of the Golden Gate Bridge

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June 6:

The football-field-sized 163348 (2002 NN4) will pass by Earth about 3 millions away.

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June 24:

Another football-field-sized asteroid, 2010 NY65, will fly by Earth nearly 2 million miles away.

Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

July 21:

2002 BF25 is the size of a school bus and will miss Earth by just over 2 million miles.

Natalia Ganelin/Moment/Getty Images

August 5:

2009 PQ1, another school-bus-sized asteroid, will whiz by Earth also about 2 million miles away.

Susan Sheldon / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

September 6:

The pyramid-sized 2010 FR will pass by Earth about 4 million miles away.

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November 29:

About the size of the Sears Tower, 2000 WO107 will pass by Earth just over 2 million miles away.

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December 25:

The Washington-Monument-sized 2014 SD224 will pass by Earth about 1.8 million miles away.

(Merry Christmas!)

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