NASA expects that there is a chance that an asteroid will collide with Earth within the next 159 years.

A team of scientists from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, revealed a prediction regarding the asteroid Bennu, stating that there is a possibility that it will hit Earth within the next 159 years and may cause widespread damage. It is comparable in size to the state of Texas. It is the second largest state in the United States, with an area of ​​approximately 700 thousand square kilometers.

The orbit of the asteroid Bennu comes very close to Earth every six years, and a team has been formed to monitor its movements since 1999, the year it was first discovered. The years in which the asteroid Bennu approached Earth were in the years 1999, 2005, and 2011.

An image of the asteroid Bennu and the sample collection area.

However, the team of scientists expects that on September 25, 2678, the asteroid will pass by Earth, and there is little chance of it escaping into the alleged area. Gravity keyhole, a hole or point where Earth’s gravity affects the orbit of an extraterrestrial body. Or it may cause orbital deviation

The NASA team expects that if Bennu’s orbit is affected this time, it could cause it to move into a new orbit and collide with Earth in the year 2725.

A report from the team collecting data from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft indicates that there is a 1 in 2,700, or 0.037%, chance that asteroid Bennu will hit Earth on September 24, 2725.

This asteroid would be about a third of a mile across, or about 500 meters, if it hit Earth. It would release energy equivalent to 22 atomic bombs, yet that would only be a small fraction of the energy released when a 6-mile (9.6 km) asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.


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