NASA’s mission reveals the probability of dangerous asteroid paths up to nearly 300 years

Scientists have calculated the probability that a potentially dangerous Bennu asteroid will hit Earth between 2021 and 2300 after studying for more than two years.

NASA revealed this information in today’s press release, stating that while Benne is still very unlikely to hit Earth, the organization has narrowed down the potential for its impact. It did this by studying its size, shape, mass, composition, spin, and orbit.

Benne Mosaic, Photo Provider: NASA / Goddard / University of Arizona

“Using NASA’s deep space network and state-of-the-art computer models, scientists can significantly reduce Benne’s orbital uncertainty, with a total impact probability of 1 in 1,750 by 2300. (Or 0.057%) was determined to be “(or 0.057%)” read the release. “Researchers can also identify September 24, 2182 as the most important single date in terms of potential impact, with an impact probability of 1 in 2,700 (or about 0.037%). did.”

OSIRIS-REx spent more than two years in the immediate vicinity of Benne, studying virtually everything possible about asteroids, before finally leaving the area on May 10. It even grabbed a sample of asteroid rock and dust, and it will return to Earth on September 24, 2023 on the OSIRIS-REX.

Research leader Davide Farnocchia said NASA had never modeled an asteroid’s orbit with this level of accuracy (very high certainty by 2135). Measurements made by OSIRIS-REx allow NASA to determine Benne’s orbit over time and whether it passes through the keyholes of gravity. This is during its 2135 approach, “for asteroids to pass through them at specific times due to Earth’s gravitational pull.”

The team also studied the Yarkovsky effect and how it affects Bennu.

“In those forces, the heat of the sun plays a decisive role,” the release reads. “As the asteroid moves around the Sun, the sunlight heats the daytime. As the asteroid rotates, the heated surface rotates away and cools as it enters the night side. When cooled, the surface cools. It emits infrared energy and produces a small amount of thrust to the asteroid. ”

Research collaborator Steve Chesley said the Jarkovsky effect affects all asteroids, including Benne. OSIRIS-REx gave NASA the first opportunity to measure this effect as Bennu traveled around the Sun. According to Chesley, the impact on Benne is equivalent to “the weight of the three grapes that constantly act on the asteroid.” They also said the impact was small, but important in determining the future impact of Benne over the coming decades and centuries.

Gorgeous pictures of the earth from space

Others include the gravity of the Sun, planets, their satellites, and other asteroids in their path. The team also studied solar wind pressure, drag caused by interplanetary dust, and Benne’s particle emission events. They even needed to take into account the forces that OSIRIS-REx exerts on Bennu as it collects rock samples and leaves the surface of the asteroid.

“Although the probability of impact of 0.057% by 2300 and 0.037% on September 24, 2182 is low, this study was performed by the OSIRIS-REx operation in accurately characterizing Bennu’s obituary. It emphasizes an important role, “said the release. ..

For more information on asteroids, read this story about an estimated $ 10,000 trillion worth of metal asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, and then read about how humans can live in the asteroid belt in space. please. Then check out this first look of an asteroid sample from space and then read about the possibility that the meteorite fragments found in Africa are from ancient planets.

Wesley LeBlanc is IGN’s freelance news writer and guide maker.You can follow him Twitter @LeBlancWes..

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