What would happen if ESA and space agencies around the world discovered an asteroid likely to impact our planet?
As a member of the International Asteroid Warning Network, ESA and other agencies work together to generate warnings in case of a potential asteroid impact, passing confirmed facts to national emergency response agencies.
Depending on the size of the asteroid, the chance of it striking Earth and how much advance warning is provided, a range of options are available.
In space, options include reconnaisance missions to gather more infomation and deflection missions to nudge the asteroid onto a different – and safe – path.
Preparations on the ground involve potential evacuations and disaster response management.
See our other infographics explaining more about risky asteroids and how ESA hunts for them:
Each year on 30 June, the worldwide UN-sanctioned Asteroid Day takes place to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect Earth from possible impact. The day falls on the anniversary of the Tunguska event that took place on 30 June 1908, the most harmful known asteroid related event in recent history. Follow the 48-hour Asteroid Day broadcast from https://asteroidday.org/ this weekend, and join the conversation online via #AsteroidDay2019