Asteroid Bennu is likely to hit earth in 2100s: Study

Researchers have said that an asteroid named Bennu, which is as large as the Empire State Building in New York, is likely to hit the Earth in 2100s. But agencies have reported that the probability of the asteroid hitting earth between now and 2300 is one in 1,750.

Quoting to scientist Davide Farnocchiaa, who authored the study along with 17 other scientists, on the hazard assessment for near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu, the New York Times writes that the probability of the impact is still low. The agency has quoted the scientist as saying, ‘I’m not any more concerned about Bennu than I was before. The impact probability (Asteroid Bennu to hit Earth) remains really small’.

Asteroid may hit Earth!

The study titled Ephemeris and hazard assessment for near-Earth asteroid (101955). Bennu based on OSIRIS-REx data tracked the asteroid’s trajectory.

Other Reports

As mentioned in reports, the asteroid will come within 125,000 miles of the Earth by the year 2135, which is about half the distance from the Earth to the moon.

The exact distance is important here, as scientists say, because the gravity of the Earth will ‘slingshot Bennu’ as it passes. They cited a phenomenon called ‘gravitational keyhole’ which could send Bennu in a particular trajectory due to which it could intersect with the Earth 50 years after 2135.  NASA’s Goddard has published a video showing how close Bennu would come in the September of 2135.

The eventful day, i.e. probability of Asteroid Bennu to hit Earth, could be  24 September, 2182, however, scientists suggest peoples not to worry as there is only a 0.037% chance that Bennu will strike the Earth. Although the devastation could be enormous, they have assured that it will not lead to an extinction event. Reports have quoted Kindly Johnson, who works as a planetary defense officer at Nasa, to have said that the size of the crater will be 10 to 20 times the size of the object.

NYT has further quoted Lindsey as saying, ‘So, a half-kilometre-sized object is going to create a crater that’s at least five kilometres in diameter, and it can be as much as 10 kilometres in diameter. But the area of devastation is going to be much, much broader than that, as much as 100 times the size of the crater’.

What’s NASA Doing to Deal with Such Objects?

Reports say Nasa is also working on a project called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, which aims to deflect an asteroid if it appears to collide with the Earth. The space agency will conduct the experiment with an asteroid called Didymos in 2022.

Also Read OSIRIS-REx starts trip back to Earth after collecting asteroid samples: NASA

According to Nasa, the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx studied the asteroid Bennu, which is likely to hit earth in 2100s, for the last two years very closely. It left Bennu in May this year and is heading back to Earth to drop off the rock and dirt samples it has collected from Bennu’s surface. Scientists had chosen the same Asteroid for the study because of the types of carbon molecules present in the asteroid, which could provide information regarding the building blocks of life on Earth.

  • August 13, 2021
Universe & Existence