The odds never quite seem to be in our favor here on Earth.
Scientists have been studying an asteroid named Bennu for months and just came to a brand new conclusion regarding the hurtling piece of rock.
New Odds for Bennu
As it turns out, there’s actually a greater chance than previously thought that the asteroid will collide with Earth. The odds have changed from 1-in-2,700 to now 1-in-1,750. The collision likely wouldn’t happen until the next century or two either, meaning it would appear long after everyone currently on Earth is dead. These odds are calculated for the asteroid hitting Earth between now and the year 2300.
According to AP News, although the odds have changed, scientists don’t really see it as a cause of alarm. “We shouldn’t be worried about it too much,” said Davide Farnocchia, a scientist that works with NASA’s Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion.
In fact, the more information we have, the better off we may be. Scientists now have a better understanding of Bennu’s path than they did before, many thanks to the Osiris-Rex spacecraft. If it were to ever come down to it, scientists would be able to give humanity one last fighting chance.
This spacecraft is currently on a long journey back home. The spacecraft took samples from the massive asteroid, which continues to be regarded as one of the most potentially hazardous known to us here on Earth. The actual samples, however, aren’t going to touch down until 2023.
The spacecraft has been investigating the asteroid for about two and a half years. The data will help scientists understand the orbital path of the one-third of a mile in diameter asteroid. To put that into perspective, the asteroid is wider than the Empire State Building’s height.
The Future with the Asteroid
Future humans, if there are any, will hear more about this asteroid in 2135. This is when it’s anticipated to have an extremely close encounter with Earth. However, the official date of asteroid collision scientists have pinpointed is September 24, 2182.
The asteroid doesn’t quite have the power to wipe out all living things, such as back in the dinosaur glory days. Instead, it would create an area of devastation about 100 times the size of the crater.
It’s all a lot of unknowns and what-ifs, especially since the future of science, humanity, and so much else is terribly hard to predict. People on social media were quick to make jokes or dark observations about the asteroid’s possible collision.
According to NPR, there is currently a 99.4% probability rate that Bennu is not on a collision path.
One person wrote, “That’s in 279 years time. Who’s to say Earth will still be in existence by then.” While someone else simply said, “rooting for the asteroid.”
While we may know a lot about Bennu, the universe likely has more stored away that we know nothing about.
“An object Bennu’s size impacting in the Eastern Seaboard states would pretty much devastate things up and down the coast. We now know a lot about Bennu, but what about what else is out there?” Lindley Johnson, the planetary defense officer at NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, said to NPR.