Its diameter is 500 meters and it travels towards the earth at a speed of 100,000 km/h. Asteroid Bennu will pass very close to us in 2135, but its impact is extremely unlikely.
NASA reports this week that in just over 100 years, Bennu will be closer to Earth, at half the distance of the Moon from our planet. And a later impact, lasted on the order of minutes, until 2300, a “chance” in 1750, the US space agency said.
Discovered in 1999, Bennu is one of the two known asteroids in our solar system that, according to NASA, pose the highest risk to Earth.
two year overview
The US space agency’s Osiris-Rex probe, which spent two years in orbit around Bennu, was released last May to retrieve samples collected during a few seconds of contact with the ground.
The samples are due to arrive on Earth in 2023. The mission has made it possible to study the asteroid very closely and significantly improve predictions of its future trajectory.
By 2300, the probability of hitting Earth is only 0.057%, the scientists concluded. “In other words, this means there is a 99.94% chance that Bennu is not on the impact trajectory,” said David Farnochia, a NASA Near Earth Object Studies scientist. “So there’s no need to worry too much.”
The fact is that Bennu will pass very close to Earth in September 2135. This would make it likely to cross what’s called a “gravitational keyhole”: a region that would slightly alter the asteroid’s trajectory due to our planet’s gravitational influence, thus putting it on a trajectory. future collision.
Prior to the Osiris-Rex mission, 26 “keyholes” of a kilometer or more were probably en route to Bennu in 2135. Thanks to the analyzes allowed by the Osiris-Rex probe, scientists were able to single out 24 of them. Two.
According to him, the most likely date of impact would be in 2182. If this happens, the incident will be horrifying. “Typically, the size of a crater would be 10 to 20 times the size of the object, or for Bennu, a crater 5 to 10 kilometers in diameter,” said Lindley Johnson of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. will be large, up to 100 times the size of the crater,” he said.
Boi Avec PWA et AFP
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