The chance has increased slightly that the asteroid Bennu will collide with Earth before the year 2300. Nevertheless, the probability of such a collision for that year remains very small: NASA estimates the possibility at 0.057 percent, the space agency has said. announced on Wednesday based on new research results.
The space agency considers the Bennu space rock to be one of the most dangerous in the solar system, along with the asteroid 1950 DA. Until the year 2300, Bennu will probably pass the Earth twice, in 2135 and 2182. During the second time, there is a chance that the asteroid will come closer to Earth than the Moon. The asteroid has a diameter of about half a kilometer and orbits around the sun.
For the calculations, NASA used data from the American space probe Osiris-Rex, which has been researching Bennu in recent years. The probe departed in 2016 and arrived on the asteroid two years later. The probe with space debris is now on its way back to Earth, where it will arrive in two years, according to NASA.
NASA researcher Davide Farnocchia stated at a press conference on Wednesday evening that the space agency has more precise information based on the research with the probe. The figures are a lot more detailed and precise than in previous studies. This is partly because gravity effects and Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity are also involved in the study.
The chance of a collision with Earth remains small until 2300. Should the orbit of the space rock become more dangerous, NASA can apply techniques to cause such a space rock to change course. Farnocchina also announced that NASA will investigate other orbiting space blocks.