NASA announced on Wednesday that an asteroid the size of the Empire State Building will fly dangerously close to Earth sometime in the 2100s. Yes, that is terrifying isn’t it? As if the myriad of problems back on the surface wasn’t already causing us an existential crisis — this, surely this, will seal the deal. But no need for alarm, all of us, including our children and grandchildren (perhaps another generation too) will be long gone. Additionally, there’s still a large probability we will be just fine.
The asteroid, which has been named Bennu, has a 1-in-1,750 chance of hitting our planet, according to researchers from NASA. Bennu’s trajectory starts to get unclear in the year 2135 to 2182, where the half a diameter wide asteroid comes within 125,000 miles, which is about half the distance from the Earth to the moon.
The data for these findings were provided by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which has examined Bennu for the past two years. If the asteroid were to indeed touch our orbit, it is likely to cause a crater over 100 times its actual size of 10 kilometers. In other words, if Bennu hit the Eastern Seaboard, it would cause mass devastation up and down the coast. However, as aforementioned, the chances are still slim of that happening. Just as a precaution, NASA will test a new defense tactic called the “Double Asteroid Redirect Test” which will be implemented against an asteroid named Didymos in 2022.
Also in the news, Elon Musk has offered for SpaceX to develop NASA’s Artemis spacesuits.