In a sense it hardly matters. Identifying an asteroid doesn't make it safe. Even if every asteroid in the solar system had a name and known orbit, no one could say what perturbations might send any of them hurtling toward us. We can't forecast rock disturbances on our own surface. Put them adrift in space and what they might do is beyond guessing. Any asteroid out there that has our name on it is very likely to have no other.
Think of the Earth's orbit as a kind of freeway on which we are the only vehicle, but which is crossed regularly by pedestrians who don't know enough to look before stepping off the curb. At least 90 percent of these pedestrians are quite unknown to us. We don't know where they live, what sort of hours they keep, how often they come our way. All we know is that at some point, at uncertain intervals, they trundle across the road down which we are cruising at sixty-six thousand miles an hour. As Steven Ostro of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has put it, "Suppose that there was a button you could push and you could light up all the Earth-crossing asteroids larger than about ten meters, there would be over 100 million of these objects in the sky." In short, you would see not a couple of thousand distant twinkling stars, but millions upon millions upon millions of nearer, randomly moving objects—"all of which are capable of colliding with the Earth and all of which are moving on slightly different courses through the sky at different rates. It would be deeply unnerving." Well, be unnerved because it is there. We just can't see it.