Planets and Moons  ID: 13896

OSIRIS-REx Sheds Light on Hazardous Asteroid Bennu

On September 25, 2135, an asteroid called Bennu will make a close flyby of Earth. Our planet’s gravity will tweak Bennu’s path, making it a challenge to calculate its future trajectory. During the flyby, there is an extremely small chance that Bennu will pass through a “gravitational keyhole” – a region of space that would set it on just the right path to impact Earth, late in the 22nd century.

Although it is difficult to determine the odds of this actually happening, new data from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft have allowed scientists to better model how Bennu’s orbit will evolve over time, and to better calculate the probability of an impact. Now, a new paper from the OSIRIS-REx science team gives Bennu a 1:2700 (0.037%) chance of impacting Earth on September 24, 2182.

Learn more about asteroid Bennu's updated impact hazard.

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Dan Gallagher (KBR Wyle Services, LLC)

Lead Animator:
Josh Masters (Freelance)

Public Affairs Officer:
Rani Gran (NASA/GSFC)

Lead Scientist:
Davide Farnocchia (JPL)

Steven Chesley (JPL)
Dante Lauretta (The University of Arizona)

Dan Gallagher (KBR Wyle Services, LLC)

Chris Smith (KBR Wyle Services, LLC)
Walt Feimer (KBR Wyle Services, LLC)
Michael Lentz (KBR Wyle Services, LLC)

Kel Elkins (USRA)

Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET Systems, Inc.)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center