The statistics of asteroid mutual encounters has been studied by several authors, mainly with the purpose of estimating collisional rates (and thus mean collisional lifetimes) and the distribution of encounter velocities. A new approach to this problem, very simple and fast in terms of computer time is presented. Notwithstanding these properties, and in spite of its heuristic nature, the method proved to give results similar to those obtained by means of more sophisticated and time-consuming techniques. Moreover, the method is particularly suitable for undertaking more detailed analyses, including the distribution of impact directions for a given target, and an evaluation of the quantitative relevance of a number of possible effects, not taken into account in previous studies.
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