NASA has issued a warning that has the world in suspense. Asteroid Bennu, a celestial body hurtling through space, may have Earth in its sights, and the implications of a possible impact are alarming.
Here we offer you a complete overview of NASA’s unusual warning. Should you be worried?
When science surpasses fiction
Astronomical phenomena often seem distant and unlikely until science turns them into a tangible reality. That’s exactly what happened with the recent announcement from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Now the world is facing the real possibility of an asteroid impacting Earth, and speculation about its consequences is rife.
Kelly Fast, manager of the Near-Earth Object Observations Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, explained:
“We realize these efforts through ongoing astronomical surveys that collect data to discover previously unknown objects and refine our orbital models for them.”
The asteroid Bennu: a potential threat, when could it hit Earth?
For those who may be concerned, it is important to understand that the asteroid Bennu could impact Earth in the distant future, namely on September 24, 2182. According to NASA, this date, with an impact probability of 1, is the most relevant in terms of the probability of impact at 2,700 probability (approximately 0.037%).
Although the likelihood is low, Bennu remains one of the most dangerous known asteroids in our solar system, along with another asteroid called 1950 DA.
Davide Farnocchia from the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) explained:
“OSIRIS-REx data gives us much more precise information; we can test the limits of our models and calculate Bennu’s future trajectory with a high degree of certainty up to 2135.”
Bennu is an asteroid that has attracted NASA’s attention due to its uniqueness. Although it is smaller than the planets at 492 meters in diameter, experts say its destructive power could be comparable to that of 22 atomic bombs. This asteroid is a special type that is thought to be made of material that dates back to the formation of our solar system.
Is it that serious? NASA and the Vatican
NASA has taken an unconventional step by asking the Vatican for help. According to Space reports, the US agency will turn to a group of Jesuit experts on meteorites and asteroids. Bennu has been under NASA’s watch for more than a decade, but now they are relying on the expertise of the Vatican Astronomical Observatory.
“When someone stepped on Bennu, he felt little resistance, as if he were kicking plastic balls into a well,” the statement said.
Specialists at the Vatican Astronomical Observatory have valuable samples and findings that could shed light on this asteroid and its effects.
NASA’s warning about Bennu underscores the importance of global scientific monitoring and collaboration to explore and protect our planet from threats from space.