The OSIRIS-Rex, a NASA space craft, has spent a couple of years near Bennu.
The OSIRIS-Rex, a NASA space craft, has spent a couple of years near Bennu.

Watch Out! Asteroid Sized Same As The Empire State Building Might Hit Earth

By Tharini Ilanchezhian

The US space agency, NASA, has reported that an asteroid the size of the Empire State building of the NYC may hit earth by 2100's. The enormous asteroid is named as Asteroid Bennu, confirm the latest reports. Here is everything you need to know about Bennu.

According to the scientists, the exact distance is an important factor of consideration as they believe that the gravitational force of the earth will 'slingshot' Bennu. An important phenomenon of the 'Gravitational Keyhole' has been detected by the scientists, which may be responsible for sending Bennu is a particular trajectory because of which, it could collide with the earth's surface. However, at this point of time, we need not worry, as this event is expected to occur in between the 2100 and 2300 and the chances of Bennu hitting the earth is probably a 1 in 1,750.

The 'hazard assessment' study, performed by Davide Farnocchiaa along with 17 other scientists, has predicted that the impact that could be possibly caused by Bennu is pretty low.

The OSIRIS-Rex, a NASA space craft, has spent a couple of years near Bennu. The space craft made use of its robotic arm in order to collect the surface samples of the asteroid, which will lay a track for the researchers to determine its trajectory. Bennu is about 500 metres wide. The rocks and dust samples of Bennu, collected by OSIRIS-Rex is expected to return to earth by September 24, 2023. The space craft chose Bennu due to the specific type of molecules of carbon present in the asteroid. These molecules have been collected from its surface with the expectation of extracting information regarding the 'Building blocks of life on Earth'.

The OSIRIS-Rex, a NASA space craft, has spent a couple of years near Bennu.wikimedia

Talking about the possible impact caused by Bennu, if it smashes on the surface of the earth, it doesn't mean that it is the end of life. But the asteroid may leave a crater on the surface, that will measure about 10 to 20 times bigger than the asteroid's size, stated the NASA's planetary Defense Officer. The area of devastation can be a matter of concern as it would be much bigger; 100 times the size of the crater created due to the hit.

The half kilometre sized asteroid, has a very meagre chance of 0.037% of hitting the earth. Bennu will arrive within 125,000 miles of earth, which about half the distance between earth and the moon.

At present, NASA is working on a project called 'Double Asteroid Redirection Test' which determines to deflect an asteroid if it shows any sign of colliding with the earth's surface. The US space agency will conduct this research by conducting as experiment with an asteroid called 'Didymos' in the upcoming year, 2022

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