Scientists have predicted the exact date asteroid is in danger of hitting Earth with force of 22 atomic bombs
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Featured Image Credit: ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI/RomoloTavani
Mark your calendars folks as scientists have revealed the exact date an asteroid is predicted to smash into Earth with the force of 22 atomic bombs.
The asteroid, named Bennu, passes Earth every six years but it has been predicted by asteroids that on a day in September many years from now it will make contact.
NASA has been working on plans to thwart the asteroid’s collision course and divert Bennu. Their mission is now in the ‘final leg’.
Richard Burns, project manager for OSIRIS-REx at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland explained all the work that has been going on to divert it.
He said: "We are now in the final leg of this seven-year journey, and it feels very much like the last few miles of a marathon, with a confluence of emotions like pride and joy coexisting with a determined focus to complete the race well."
Bennu is around a third of a mile wide which makes it half the size of the asteroid that is thought to have killed dinosaurs. If Bennu crashes into Earth, it will cause devastation 600 miles from the crash site, but it’s not large enough to cause worldwide extinction.
You’ll be even more pleased to know that the possibility of Bennu colliding with our planet and causing devastation for our future generations is actually very slim.
NASA says while there is a risk, there is an 'extremely small chance' Bennu will hit Earth on September 24, 2182.
With the date falling near the end of the 22nd century, we don't have to worry for a good while yet too.
According to a new paper shared by the OSIRIS-REx science team last month, there is a 1:2700 (0.037%) chance of this missile impacting Earth on September 24, 2182.
“Although it is difficult to determine the odds of this actually happening, new data from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft have allowed scientists to better model how Bennu’s orbit will evolve over time, and to better calculate the probability of an impact,” NASA explains.
On September 25, 2135, Bennu will make a close flyby of Earth. Bennu’s location in 2182 will vary depending on how the 2135 flyby goes, according to NASA. There is a one in 1,750 chance Bennu will hit earth by 2300.