It has a diameter of 500 meters and travels at a speed of 100,000 km / h towards the Earth. The asteroid Bennu will pass very close to us in the year 2135, but the probability of its collision is still very low.
NASA reported this week that in just over 100 years, Bennu will be close to Earth, only half the distance from our planet to the Moon. The US space agency added that the aftereffect, by 2300, would still be on the order of a minute, and one “chance” in 1750.
Discovered in 1999, Bennu is one of two known asteroids in our solar system that pose the greatest danger to Earth, according to NASA.
Two years of notes
The US space agency’s Osiris-Rex probe spent two years in orbit around Bennu, and left last May to bring back samples collected during a contact that lasted a few seconds with Earth.
The samples are scheduled to reach Earth in 2023. The mission made it possible to closely study the asteroid and greatly improve predictions of its future path.
Scientists concluded that by the year 2300, the chances of hitting the Earth were only 0.057%. “In other words, this means that there is a 99.94% chance that Bennu is not on a collision course,” said David Farnocchia, a scientist in NASA’s Near-Earth Object Studies. “So you don’t have to worry too much.”
The fact remains that in September 2135, Bennu will pass close to Earth. This will give it the possibility to cross the so-called “gravitational keyhole”: a region that, due to the gravitational effect of our planet, would slightly change the course of the asteroid, and thus put it on a path. future collision.
Avant la mission Osiris-Rex, 26 “trous de serrure” grands d’un kilomètre ou plus étaient possiblement sur le chemin de Bennu en 2135. Grâce aux analyses permises par la sonde Osiris-Rex, les scientifiques ont pu en exclure 24. The last two.
According to them, the most likely date for the impact will be in the year 2182. If this happened, the event would be catastrophic. “Typically, the size of the crater is 10 to 20 times the size of the object,” said Lindley Johnson, of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, or, for Bennu, a crater 5 to 10 kilometers in diameter. “But the area of destruction would be much larger than that, up to 100 times the size of the crater,” he said.
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