NASA Increases Odds of a Certain Asteroid to Smash Into Earth
At a news conference this week, NASA scientists said there is a 1-in-1,750 chance that asteroid Bennu could collide with Earth between now and the year 2300. (.037%) The previous odds were 1 in 2700.
So, mark your calendars: the greatest chance in the next 300 years will come on September 24, 2182. It’s a Tuesday.
However, scientists say they are not worried. (But honestly, what else would they tell us?)
Still, Bennu and another asteroid known as (29075) 1950 DA (which will get as close as 4 million miles from Earth in 2136) remain the two most hazardous asteroids to Earth – at least for the asteroids that we know of.
NASA was concerned enough about Bennu that it sent a spacecraft to the asteroid and landed on its surface last year, collecting samples (around two ounces) of the space rock. What did NASA learn? That Bennu is VERY ancient and that it’s bigger than the Empire State Building. But the samples won’t return to Earth until the year 2023 because at the time the spacecraft landed on Bennu --- it was 200,000,000 miles from Earth. After orbiting the Sun twice, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is due to reach Earth on September 24, 2023.
Photos also showed that this Asteroid has giant boulders embedded in it, the size of cars, houses, and football fields.
By the way, Bennu was named in 2013 by a nine-year-old boy from North Carolina who won the Name that Asteroid! Bennu is the ancient Egyptian deity linked with the sun, creation, and rebirth.
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