ESA warns that comets can “cause more damage” than asteroids if they get close to Earth

ESA warns that comets can cause more damage than asteroids if they get close to Earth

Comets are small celestial bodies that orbit around the Sun and are made up of ice, dust and rocks. ESA has warned this week that these celestial objects can be more dangerous than asteroids, even though comets tend to weigh less than similarly sized asteroids because the material they are made of is less dense.

“A comet average of a given diameter is likely to cause more damage than an average asteroid the same size”, published ESA, detailing that “currently, we know about 100 near-Earth comets.” Comets are relatively rare in our Solar System but are found in large numbers outside of it. While comets are estimated to be in the thousands, there are almost 23,000 asteroids in close proximity to Earth, 900 of which are larger than one kilometer.

“Fortunately, the probability of an impact from these comets is significantly less than for near-Earth asteroids, of which we currently know there are 22,933!” Clarified the agency.