According to NASA, asteroid Bennu is one of the most hazardous known asteroids in our solar system. And now, thanks to a recent visit by a NASA spacecraft, we’re hearing the chances of it colliding with Earth are higher than originally thought.
Initially, NASA didn’t think it was much of a concern and said there was only a 1 in 2,700 chance of a collision, but now we have a little more information to go on. Based on the latest calculations from data gathered during NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, which sampled the hazardous asteroid, Bennu has a higher chance of hitting Earth, possibly, but probably won’t.
So, you’re telling me there’s a chance! A study based on the findings was published this week in the Icarus journal. Apparently, between now and the year 2300, Bennu has a 1 in 1,750 chance of impacting Earth. That’s still pretty slim, and researchers don’t believe the change is big enough to worry too much about Bennu.
Originally, the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission was to collect a sample from Bennu and return it to Earth. However, during its more than two-year visit, NASA gained valuable insight about nearby asteroids, their trajectory paths, and can achieve better calculations on movement.
The asteroid will make its next closest approach to Earth in 2135, so we don’t have anything to worry about, at least not yet.