Mankind knows only about 40 percent of large and ordinary asteroids and comets, writes RIA Novosti. In addition, more than 25,000 such objects are known today, according to a report posted on the website of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
“It is estimated that only about 40 percent of significant objects near the Earth have been identified,” the report said.
The document notes that in 2020, a global network of astronomical observatories located in more than 40 countries has collected almost 39.5 million records of observations of asteroids and comets. As of April 17, 2021, scientists were aware of 25,647 objects close to Earth. In addition, in 2020, 2,959 such facilities were opened – a record number.
Earlier, the scientific director of the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences Boris Shustov told RIA Novosti that experts know only one in ten space bodies larger than 100 meters and only one percent of bodies about 50 meters, such as the Tunguska meteorite. At the same time, such small bodies as those that fell in Chelyabinsk cannot be detected at a great distance in advance.
Also, according to Shustov, Russia detects an insufficient number of dangerous space objects in comparison with other countries. Thus, as of January 2019, Russia’s contribution to the detection of dangerous asteroids and comets is 0.1 percent, and the main contribution is made by the United States. At the beginning of 2019, experts knew about 18 thousand dangerous objects, of which 99% – asteroids.
Due to the urgency of this threat, the main scientific institute of Roscosmos has announced its intention to establish a national Center for the observation of dangerous asteroids and comets.