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India among 10 countries to be worst hit by asteroid

In a new study, scientists have identified the countries that are most likely to be worst hit by the catastrophic damage caused by asteroids.

world Updated: May 19, 2012 00:12 IST

In a new study, scientists have identified the countries that are most likely to be worst hit by the catastrophic damage caused by asteroids.

Research from the University of Southhampton have identified for the first time those which will suffer catastrophic loss of life or be so crippled it will be almost impossible for them to recover.

NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer has sampled 107 “potentially hazardous” asteroids near Earth - 330ft wide or larger - to make estimates about how many are out there - and the figure is a terrifying 47,000.

The WISE survey now estimates there are 47,000 “potentially hazardous” asteroids.

The PHAs (potentially hazardous asteroids) have the closest orbits to Earth’s, coming within five million miles and they are big enough to survive passing through Earth’s atmosphere and cause damage on a regional, or greater, scale.

The new results come from the asteroid-hunting portion of the WISE mission, called NEOWISE. The project sampled 107 PHAs to make predictions about the entire population as a whole. Findings indicate there are 4,700 PHAs, plus or minus 1,500, with diameters larger than 330 feet.