These are the asteroids to worry about

VeritasiumMay 4, 2022

Stephen Hawking thought an asteroid impact posed the greatest threat to life on Earth. Thanks to Kiwico for sponsoring this video. For 50% off your first month of any crate, go to
For other potential world ending catastrophes, check out Domain of Science:

Special thanks to:
Prof. Dave Jewitt from UCLA Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
Prof. Mark Boslough from Sandia National Labs
Scott Manley:
Ryan Wyatt at Morrison Planetarium
Prof. Amy Mainzer
Alexandr Ivanov for the opening shot of Chelyabinsk Meteor

Maps of Asteroid Impacts —

Time passing animation from Universe Sandbox –

Opposition Effect —
Belskaya, I. N., & Shevchenko, V. G. (2000). Opposition effect of asteroids. Icarus, 147(1), 94-105.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroids —
Perna, D., Barucci, M. A., & Fulchignoni, M. (2013). The near-Earth objects and their potential threat to our planet. The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review, 21(1), 65.

Survey of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids —

Population Vulnerability —
Rumpf, C. M., Lewis, H. G., & Atkinson, P. M. (2017). Population vulnerability models for asteroid impact risk assessment. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 52(6), 1082-1102.

Size distribution of NEOs —
Trilling, D. E., Valdes, F., Allen, L., James, D., Fuentes, C., Herrera, D., … & Rajagopal, J. (2017). The size distribution of near-earth objects larger than 10 m. The Astronomical Journal, 154(4), 170.

2020 NEOWISE Data Release —

National Research Council Report—
Board, S. S., & National Research Council. (2010). Defending planet earth: Near-Earth-Object surveys and hazard mitigation strategies. National Academies Press.

Tug Boat —
Schweickart, R. L., Lu, E. T., Hut, P., & Chapman, C. R. (2003). The asteroid tugboat. Scientific American, 289(5), 54-61.

Gravity Tractor 1 —
Lu, E. T., & Love, S. G. (2005). Gravitational tractor for towing asteroids. Nature, 438(7065), 177-178.

Laser Ablation —
Thiry, N., & Vasile, M. (2014). Recent advances in laser ablation modelling for asteroid deflection methods. SPIE Optical Engineering+ Applications, 922608-922608.

Yarakovsky Effect —

DART Mission —

Nuclear 1 —
Ahrens, T. J., & Harris, A. W. (1992). Deflection and fragmentation of near-Earth asteroids. Nature, 360(6403), 429-433.

Nuclear 2 —
Bradley, P. A., Plesko, C. S., Clement, R. R., Conlon, L. M., Weaver, R. P., Guzik, J. A., … & Huebner, W. F. (2010, January). Challenges of deflecting an asteroid or comet nucleus with a nuclear burst. In AIP Conference Proceedings (Vol. 1208, No. 1, pp. 430-437). American Institute of Physics.

Researched and Written by Petr Lebedev, Jonny Hyman and Derek Muller
3D animations, VFX, SFX, Audio Mixing by Jonny Hyman
2D animation by Ivàn Tello
Intro animation by Nicolas Pratt
With Filming by Raquel Nuno

Music from “Stellar Dance” “Orbit” “That Notebook” “What We Discovered” “Out of Poppies” “Handwriting”
Images and video supplied by Getty Images

Rating: 5.00
Views: 71412569
Tags: veritasium,science,physics


(39) comments

  • Chad WahlMay 4, 2022Reply

    Just don't look up .

  • First of all, I enjoyed the video. Second, I commend you on wearing a mask during the interview. Third, FYI, you wore your mask wrong. It is supposed to be closer to the upper bridge of your nose, thereby not allowing any germs you might exhale to get out or you might breathe in. Yes, I am a health care medical person. Twenty plus years as an ER nurse, so I know how masks are supposed to be worn. Just thought you would like to be made aware about the mask.

  • First AlMay 4, 2022Reply

    This is why we will never rid of nuclear weapons.

  • CLIFFMay 4, 2022Reply

    Why don’t they name it sam or jack ? Fuckin duwenday??

  • BillMay 4, 2022Reply

    The warmongers will pay big bux for a bunch of these…

  • 2:25. What can we do about it?… Call A guy Named Harry Stamper.

  • and Gaara would say: is this the power of a god?

  • mbMay 4, 2022Reply

    nato is causing more worry then any asteroid …. schwartz & schwab financing world disasters

  • 777jarisMay 4, 2022Reply

    Who is this “expert” in the MIB chair?

  • Jaw MakerMay 4, 2022Reply

    To direct an asteroid away from earth- why not have 1 or more rockets attached to the meteor and when they spin to a chosen position they turn on and when moving out of position they turn off and same for each of the other rockets when they come into the chosen postion. Eventually it will move the meteor out of trajectory from earth, if its small enough.

  • It's just a matter of when, not if..

  • It is FAR easier to trust in Almighty God than to worry about any of this silliness.

  • "low probability still R _ _ _ _ _ _ R _ _ _ _ _ _ _ in the COSMIC PLAN look of things?"…

  • Thank you for info that I believe should remind ""powers that be" to not forget "looking up for it won't be Superman protecting Earth" & believe that America seems only Major Power that's forward thinking 'bout unwelcome future visit(s) from neighbors? (Beautiful Family 👪 ❤!)

  • mysongsMay 4, 2022Reply

    everytime i hear story about asteroid and Dinosaurs, i wonder it would have destroyed everything including plants trees all animals, parasites, bacteria, microbes, fungus, ice … nd they all came back . or these are totally new species… ????? was there a totally different world ? how would one big asteroid impact a whole circular earth entirely !!!!! what you say @veritasium

  • What if in the nearest future we build a shield around the Earth

  • UmrahMay 4, 2022Reply

    It's on my birthday lol, Feb 15

  • Madara moment.

  • Randy ClarkMay 4, 2022Reply

    Very Amazing

  • Jud MUJTABAMay 4, 2022Reply

    One time when i was 5 years old i was in my grandmas house in iraq i was outside i saw a rock from space it was on fire it was so close but there was no new on tv or anything

  • Guy was thr oldest thing I saw until the meteor

  • Dave GillanMay 4, 2022Reply

    Hahahaha…… Spending a fortune on trying to observe asteroids that, at the end of the day, we can do absolutely 'nothing' about! Bravo science. 
    What a complete and utter waste of time and money to allow a worthless scientist to swan around with a dinner-part title of 'Asteroid Expert'. Bad science…and misleading the public with unproven, supposed 'scientific fact' should be subject to criminal prosecution. Perhaps only then would a scientific community that largely operates unchallenged be a little more focussed upon fact than assumptions.

  • utkDESTINYMay 4, 2022Reply


  • Watching this video 10th time and still it’s fascinating.

  • Its kind of beautiful in a way.

  • That's why they tapped the postal service to spy on conservatives. They are the ones stealing the ballots at the hub

  • 0:28 this happens every friday in russia

  • France and Germany, his favorite countries to speculate about total obliteration.

  • SAILMay 4, 2022Reply

    "And this could happen tomorrow?"
    Dead Silence

  • PUTINMay 4, 2022Reply


  • If shiney foil was wrapped on one side of an asteroid, the light will bounce off. The asteroid will not be pushed away. The asteroid will be pushed away if a black surface is coated on that side
    Video is incorrect

  • bones so2May 4, 2022Reply

    Definitely would worry about an asteroid the size of the one that wiped out the dinosaurs over one the size of a car

  • I keep hoping an asteroid collides with Earth & ends the human problem.

  • Jim WhallMay 4, 2022Reply

    Well done. Your message is basically “you’re doomed, science can do nothing.”

    So, why spend money on telescopes. Or climate change. Or anything related.

  • DarkvideosMay 4, 2022Reply

    Today 1 may 2022 i found a asteroid so big but was so far more far then jupitar but i saw it as big as the moon but it was far so i think It will hit in 2022 3 may cuz i saw it in 2022 1 january so yeah i dont see it anymore

  • DarkvideosMay 4, 2022Reply

    The first asteroid story was like the same year i was born in i was even born russia

  • dayna bellMay 4, 2022Reply

    OK this is what iI think. If we all were in danger we should go to space and move to a different planet what else can we do? We could fight back but that's risky but if astranouts go to space and somehow destroy all asteroids without making more or damaging planets we should do that.

  • Logo-upMay 4, 2022Reply

    Wow this is an amazing video good job nice YouTube and anyone reading this, have a good one

  • Why did I think of the movie ˋdont look up´ while watching this video?

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