Fr.: échelle de Palerme
A technical scale that categorizes the → impact hazard of a → near-Earth object (NEO). It compares the threat of a given NEO to the so-called background threat of all NEOs of the same size or larger. In this way, the probability of the → impact itself as well as the time until the predicted impact are considered. The scale is → logarithmic and continuous. A Palermo scale of -2 indicates that the predicted event is only 1% as likely as a random background event between now and the time of predicted impact. A value of 0 indicates that the risk is the same as the risk from the background threats. A value of +2 indicates an event that is 100 times more likely than the background hazard. The Palermo scale is defined in the paper "Quantifying the risk posed by potential Earth impacts" by Chesley et al. (2002), Icarus 159n 423. See also → Torino scale.