An image of the asteroid Gaspra.
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It's Asteroid Time!
News story originally written on March 17, 1998
Have you ever been on an Easter egg hunt? Well some people hunt for things other than eggs! NASA astronomers Robin Evans and Karl Stapelfeldt have hunted through 28,000 Hubble telescope images. What did they find? About 100 small asteroids
. These asteroids are rocks that orbit between Mars and Jupiter in an area called the asteroid belt.
We need to know about asteroids because some of them come very close to the Earth (and could hit the Earth if they came any closer!). An asteroid discovered just last December (named 1997 XF11) is predicted to have a close encounter with the Earth in just 30 years. (How old will you be then?) This asteroid will pass close to the Earth, but it is in no danger of hitting the Earth.
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