NASA releases findings about asteroid on collision course with Earth

Bennu is the asteroid most at risk of entering Earth’s atmosphere in the coming years, according to scientists. The object, which is widely studied by US Space Agency (NASA) researchers, has a recently discovered factor: it is brittle.

The asteroid, which could hit Earth in the year 2182, undergoes frequent changes in its temperature, which has caused ruptures in its surface. Between his first images, taken in the 1990s, and more recent photos, it is possible to observe that Bennu’s soil is “cracking”.

+ What can happen if an asteroid hits Earth?

The discovery was made by NASA researchers from images captured by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission.

Upon noticing several cracks in the rock, the researchers realized that they have a longitudinal pattern. From there, they realized that it is a phenomenon caused by the Sun.

It is estimated that between 10,000 and 100,000 years, the asteroid may cease to exist due to solar erosion. However, that doesn’t change our relationship with him much.

“Bennu is certainly the most widely studied asteroid in the Solar System,” says planetary scientist Dante Lauretta, from the University of Arizona to the National Geographic website. “We know where the asteroid will be 100 years from now, in meters. No other object in the Solar System has this level of detail in studying its orbital trajectory – not even Earth!”

And even though it is the object with the greatest risk of hitting Earth, this is unlikely to happen. Scientists estimate that there is a 99.9% chance that Bennu will not invade our planet’s atmosphere within the next three centuries.

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