Near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu is a potentially hazardous asteroid that was discovered in 1999 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research Team (MPEC 1999-R44).
Since its discovery, Bennu has been extensively tracked with 580 ground-based optical astrometric observations through 2018. The orbital period of 1.2 yr puts Bennu close to a 6:5 mean motion resonance with Earth, which has led to three close encounters in 1999, 2005, and 2011. During these encounters, the Arecibo and Goldstone radar stations collected seven Doppler and 22 delay measurements of Bennu.
The trajectory of Bennu is deterministic until 2135 when a close encounter with Earth leads to strong scattering and makes the knowledge of its future motion statistical. In particular, Chesley et al. (2014) found several possible impacts from 2175 to 2196 for a cumulative impact probability of 3.7×10−4.
Source: Science Direct
I’m not any more concerned about Bennu than I was before,” Davide Farnocchia of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (Cneos) told reporters on a call Wednesday. “The impact probability remains small.”
Eric Mac from Cnet wrote a detailed article, by Farnocchia, Chesley, and several other colleagues who authored a study on Bennu’s future travels that’s published in the latest edition of the journal Icarus.
Basically, the new research allows humanity to keep kicking the can of Bennu anxiety further down the road. We can now say confidently that there’s nothing to worry about through 2135, and probably nothing to worry about until at least 2300, but you can bet that researchers in coming years will be looking closely at the asteroid’s travel plans for September of 2182.
Specifically, Sept. 24, 2182, is the most significant single date on Bennu’s itinerary because it has a .04% chance of impacting Earth that day. Another way to look at that, of course, is that there is a 99.96 chance it won’t hit us.
“The effect on Bennu is equivalent to the weight of three grapes constantly acting on the asteroid but significant when determining Bennu’s future impact changes over the decades and centuries to come.”Steve Chesley, A Senior Research Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
That probability is about 1 in 1,750, or 0.06%, between now and the year 2300, and we can rule out any chance of impact between today and 2135. That’s the year Bennu will come closer to Earth than the moon in September.
Although these researches scare us all in different ways but according we shouldn’t be worried about yet as scientists and researchers have a lot of time to study what’s happening.
“We shouldn’t be worried about it very much, we have time to keep tracking the asteroid.”Farnocchia
Well, the world is moving so fast, people going for a space ride, asteroids are predicted to hit the earth in the future, aliens were seen in Area 52. Things are getting unpredictable!
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