near-Earth asteroid

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near-Earth asteroid

(NEA) Any asteroid that has a chance of hitting our planet, specifically any member of the Apollo, Amor, and Aten groups. Although the annual probability of the Earth being struck by a large asteroid or comet is extremely small, the consequences of such a collision are so catastrophic that it was thought prudent in the USA to assess the nature of the threat and to be prepared to deal with it.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
We'll find out when the next Earth-grazer comes by.
However, any meteors that you see overhead will be long, dramatic Earth-grazers skimming the upper atmosphere almost horizontally.
All those that can approach Earth more closely than Venus does are called Earth-grazers. Eros was the first of these to be discovered and is the largest, being at least 15 miles in its longest diameter.