There is clear evidence that dinosaurs disappeared from planet Earth 65 million years ago due to the impact of an asteroid. For this reason, space agencies pay special attention to these types of objects. Now the protagonist is the asteroid Bennu , which NASA researchers are watching closely to predict how likely it is to hit Earth.
Long ago Bennu was part of a larger asteroid body located in the most important asteroid belt in the Universe, located between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars .
To conduct the study, experts have used precision tracking data provided by the Origins Spectral Interpretation spacecraft . In this way, they can understand with little margin of error what the movements of the asteroid Bennu will be until the year 2300.
Is there a risk that the asteroid Bennu will hit Earth?
NASA researchers have carried out the study with information from the Osiris-REX mission , which has been orbiting and taking samples of different objects for more than two years, including the asteroid Bennu.
Based on these data, experts believe that the rock, which is 518 meters wide , has a very low probability of impacting the planet Earth. However, the probability is a bit higher than previously thought, although for now there is no reason to worry.
NASA notes that the rocky object has a 1 in 1,750 chance of crashing into our planet. Davide Farnocchia, from NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, explained at a press conference that he is not concerned about the Bennu impact as the probability of impact is minimal.
However, future generations will have to continue to monitor the asteroid very closely since it is estimated that it will pass “close” to Earth in the 22nd century . According to the data currently being handled, it will be in the year 2135 when the rapprochement takes place. At that time it will be completely harmless. In the year 2182 there will be a probability of impact of 1 in 2,700 and in the year 2300 of 1 in 1,750.
It now remains to be seen how its approach to Earth’s gravity in 2135 will influence the trajectory . There are other forces that can also modify the trajectory of asteroids, such as the solar wind or the Sun’s gravity, for example.