NASA Updates the Risk Posed by Bennu – The Potentially Hazardous Asteroid Has a Chance of Colliding With Earth

NASA Updates the Risk Posed by Bennu – The Potentially Hazardous Asteroid Has a Chance of Colliding With Earth
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The Bennu asteroid is one of those space rocks that astronomers are keeping an eye on. It falls into the “potentially hazardous asteroids” classification, and there’s no wonder why. Bennu has a radius of 262.5 meters. It’s not big enough to cause a mass extinction, but you certainly wouldn’t want the asteroid landing anywhere near your own backyard or even town.

Adding the gravitational acceleration to the size of the Bennu asteroid, the rock indeed becomes fearful. The farther away it comes from, the harder it can hit. And since Bennu will come within roughly 123,000 miles of Earth’s surface, you can imagine the magnitude of a hypothetical impact. And unfortunately, that scenario could exceed the state of a mere hypothesis.

Bennu has a chance to hit Earth in 161 years

NASA has updated the risk posed by the Bennu asteroid after gathering data from OSIRIS-Rex, the spacecraft that has been flying around the space rock for years.

Just in case you’re planning to stick around in the next 161 years, you have to know that Bennu has a chance to hit our planet, according to Gizmodo. A very small one, but it exists.

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

In the new research, scientists provide a refined trajectory of the Bennu asteroid until the year 2300. The space rock has a very slight chance to pay us an unwanted visit through the year 2300: 1 in 1,750, which also translates to 0.057%.

In other words, we hate to disappoint you, but you won’t live until the year 2300 unless you find the secret for eternal youth, if there is one. If you’re worried about your descendants, they’ll most probably find out about the danger if the asteroid will hit, although again, it’s highly unlikely. Moving to another city would probably be enough, as Bennu is far from being a “global killer” as Chicxulub was, the impactor that killed the dinosaurs.

The new research was published in Icarus.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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