Scientists Find the Chances of Asteroid Bennu Colliding with Earth Are Higher Than They Initially Predicted

The excellent news is that scientists have a greater deal with on asteroid Bennu’s whereabouts for the following 200 years.

The dangerous information is that the house rock has a barely better probability of clobbering Earth than beforehand thought.

However don’t be alarmed: Scientists reported Wednesday that the percentages are nonetheless fairly low that Bennu will hit us within the subsequent century.

“We shouldn’t be frightened about it an excessive amount of,” mentioned Davide Farnocchia, a scientist with NASA’s Middle for Close to Earth Object Research on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who served because the research’s lead creator.

Whereas the percentages of a strike have risen from 1-in-2,700 to 1-in-1,750 over the following century or two, scientists now have a significantly better thought of Bennu’s path because of NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft, in accordance with Farnocchia.


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“So I feel that total, the state of affairs has improved,” he informed reporters.

The spacecraft is headed again to Earth on an extended, roundabout loop after amassing samples from the massive, spinning rubble pile of an asteroid, thought of one of many two most hazardous recognized asteroids in our photo voltaic system. The samples are due right here in 2023.

Earlier than Osiris-Rex arrived at Bennu in 2018, telescopes offered strong perception into the asteroid, about one-third of a mile in diameter. The spacecraft collected sufficient knowledge over two and a half years to assist scientists higher predict the asteroid’s orbital path effectively into the longer term.

Their findings — revealed within the journal Icarus — must also assist in charting the course of different asteroids and provides Earth a greater combating probability if and when one other hazardous house rock heads our means.

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Earlier than Osiris-Rex arrived on the scene, scientists put the percentages of Bennu hitting Earth via the 12 months 2200 at 1-in-2,700. Now it’s 1-in-1,750 via the 12 months 2300.

The one most menacing day is Sept. 24, 2182.

Bennu can have an in depth encounter with Earth in 2135 when it passes inside half the gap of the moon. Earth’s gravity may tweak its future path and put it on a collision course with Earth within the 2200s — much less probably now primarily based on Osiris-Rex observations.

If Bennu did slam into Earth, it might not wipe out life, dinosaur-style, however reasonably create a crater roughly 10 to twenty occasions the dimensions of the asteroid, mentioned Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary protection officer. The world of devastation could be a lot larger: as a lot as 100 occasions the dimensions of the crater.

If an object Bennu’s dimension hit the Japanese Seaboard, it “would just about devastate issues up and down the coast,” he informed reporters.


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Scientists already are forward of the curve with Bennu, which was found in 1999. Discovering threatening asteroids upfront will increase the probabilities and choices for pushing them out of our means, Johnson mentioned.

“100 years from now, who is aware of what the expertise goes to be?” he mentioned.

In November, NASA plans to launch a mission to knock an asteroid off-course by hitting it. The experimental goal would be the moonlet of a much bigger house rock.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Related Press story and will have altered it previous to publication to make sure that it meets our editorial requirements. | Scientists Discover the Probabilities of Asteroid Bennu Colliding with Earth Are Greater Than They Initially Predicted


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