Tags: NASA | Giant | Asteroid | Hit | Earth

NASA Fears Giant Asteroid Could Hit Earth

(NASA/YouTube)

By    |   Monday, 01 August 2016 02:37 PM

NASA has about 160 years to figure out how to destroy a giant asteroid that, if it crashed into Earth, would wipe out civilization, the Christian Post reports.

The asteroid's name is "Bennu."

"That 2135 fly-by is going to tweak Bennu's orbit, potentially putting it on course for the Earth later that century," Dante Lauretta, professor at Arizona University and NASA expert, told the U.K.'s Express.

"We estimate the chance of impact at about one in 2,700 between 2175 and 2196."

Not wasting any time, NASA, with Lauretta in the lead, will launch a probe in September to collect key data about the asteroid, Express reported. The Osiris-Rex probe would reach the asteroid in 2018, take a year for study and research, and then head back to Earth, landing back on U.S. soil in 2023.

Facts about Bennu, according to the Christian Post:

  • It was discovered in 1999; has been crossing Earth's orbit every 6 years;
  • Bennu travels at 63,000 mph;
  • It weighs over 60 million tons and is larger than the Empire State building;
  • Collision with Earth would be analogous to the detonation of 3 billion tons of explosives.

"Bennu falls on the boundary, in terms of size, for an object capable of causing a global catastrophe," professor Mark Bailey, emeritus director of the Armagh Observatory, told Express.

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NASA has about 160 years to figure out how to destroy a giant asteroid that, if it crashed into Earth, would wipe out civilization, the Christian Post reports.
NASA, Giant, Asteroid, Hit, Earth
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2016-37-01
Monday, 01 August 2016 02:37 PM
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