NASA says there is an asteroid it’s monitoring that could potentially impact Earth
(Gray News) - NASA says an asteroid called Bennu has a chance of impacting Earth late in the 22nd century.
According to scientists, Bennu will make a close flyby of Earth in 2135 with a chance of impacting our planet in 2182.
“During the flyby, there is an extremely small chance that Bennu will pass through a gravitational keyhole – a region of space that would set it on just the right path to impact Earth,” NASA shared.
The research team said it is difficult to determine the odds of this happening, but new data from NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft have allowed scientists to better model how Bennu’s orbit will evolve over time.
Research from the Osiris-Rex science team gives Bennu a .037% chance of impacting Earth on Sept. 24, 2182.
The Associated Press reports that Bennu was discovered in 1999 and is believed to be a remnant of a much larger asteroid that collided with another space rock.
Scientists say it’s roughly the height of the Empire State Building, and its black rugged surface is packed with boulders.
Bennu orbits the sun every 14 months while rotating every four hours.
Scientists believe Bennu holds leftovers from the solar system’s formation 4.5 billion years ago.
This weekend, a NASA spacecraft will reportedly fly by Earth and drop off what is expected to be at least a cupful of rubble that was grabbed from Bennu.
The team said it plans to share its findings from the asteroid with the public on Oct. 11.
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