One of the most dangerous asteroids in the Solar System

One of the most dangerous asteroids in the Solar System

Until OSIRIS-REx visited and investigated Benny, the researchers shared the possibility of this Asteroid Will fall to earth in 2200 years, which is equal to 1 in 2700.

This means that Ben is likely to face Earth, and scientists do not think this change is alarming.

“This is not a significant difference, and the likelihood of a collision remains fundamentally the same,” said David Fernandez, lead author of the study at NASA’s Center for Near Earth Orbital Studies.

– In fact, we now know the Bennu Path well, and can well construct potential trails for shocks.

Overall, the situation is better and I am much less now than I was before.

The asteroid hit.

If Ben invades Earth, he will leave a crater 10 to 20 times its size and the size of its ruined area will be 100 times the size of the crater, NASA Planet Defense Officer Lindley Johnson said.

The study based on these results was published in the journal Icarus.

“NASA’s mission to detect and monitor asteroids and comets that can approach Earth and endanger our planet,” said Kelly Fast, head of the Near Earth Observation Program.

“We carry out this mission through ongoing astronomical research, in which the data collected help to locate previously unknown objects and to adjust orbital patterns.

The OSIRIS-REx mission provided a unique opportunity to configure and test these models.

This has enabled us to better predict where Ben will be as he nears the earth for more than a century. “

Photo of the organizers

Bennu asteroid

The next closest asteroid to Earth is 2135. Although Ben is not close to threatening the Earth, accurate knowledge of its orbit will help scientists better understand how our planet’s gravitational pull will change the future orbit of the asteroid.

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It may also affect the likelihood of Bennu landing after 2135.

Bennu’s most important approach to the earth is September 24, 2182. Then his chances of landing on Earth would be equal to 1 in 2700.

Scientists agree that a collision is unlikely, and NASA plans to monitor the asteroid’s orbit for several years.

Close-up of an asteroid exploration

The spacecraft OSIRIS -REx, whose full name means “Origin, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security – Regolith Explorer”, arrived in Benoit in December 2018 and launched on May 10 this year.

In addition to collecting unprecedented data, the probe also found asteroid surface samples. They are currently flying to Earth and are expected to arrive in September 2023.

Although OSIRIS-REx will only return to Earth in a few years, data is already being sent to scientists revealing what he learned about Bennu during this time.

For example, it allowed scientists to discover that the asteroid was made up of a heap of debris bound by gravity. The asteroid is wolf – shaped and reaches a diameter of 500 meters.

Photo of the organizers

The asteroid hit.

“OSIRIS-REx data give us very accurate information, and we can examine the limits of our models and accurately estimate the future Benu path up to 2135,” Farnochia said. –

We have never modeled the path of an asteroid so accurately. “

The Near-Earth Orbital Study Center, located at the Jet Engine Laboratory in Pasadena, California, can use asteroids to estimate their trajectories, predict future motion and assess impact impacts.

The orbits of the asteroids around the Sun change over time, and small things can distort them.

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In particular, scientists wanted to determine if Bennu would fall into the “key hole” of gravity when he first approached Earth in 2135.

The “keyhole” of gravity is the narrowest part of space that can change the orbit of a flying asteroid due to the planet’s gravity.

Photo of the organizers

Bennu asteroid

At some point, if Bennu enters such a hole due to the Earth’s gravity, they may tilt Bennu’s path to hit the Earth in the future.

If Bennu actually enters the “keyhole” of gravity, Earth’s gravity will slightly change Bennu’s direction of motion, but it will be enough to lead him to the path of collision in the 21st century, “Fernandez said.

Prior to this study, scientists feared that there would be 26 potential gravitational holes in Bennu Road. But now they are only worried about two people. However, an asteroid is more likely to fall into one of them.

“But we need to keep in mind that the chances of a collision are very low,” Fernandez said.

– In fact, the risk of it not working in the path of impact is as high as 99.94 percent. So there is no particular reason to worry. “

Bennu movement

The heat of the sun will have an effect on asteroids called Jarkovsky. As the asteroids orbit the Sun, it heats up and cools down. As the asteroid rotates through this temperature variation, it releases energy and gets that extra boost.

“The Jarkovsky effect affects all asteroids of any size. So far, we have only measured a small fraction of the asteroid population from a distance, but Osiris-Rex gave us the first opportunity to measure this effect in detail,” said Benny, a senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Engine Laboratory. .

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– This effect on Benu is equal to the weight of the three grapes that are in constant contact with the asteroid.

Yes, it is miniature, but it’s important to consider the possibility of Bennu reaching Earth in the coming decades or centuries.

Other forces, including the Sun’s gravity, and other planets, their moons, and other asteroids, can adjust the motion of asteroids. The flow of dust or electric particles from the sun, called the solar wind, also affects the orbit.

In addition, during the OSIRIS-REx mission, scientists were surprised that the Bennu surface also emitted particles into space, which may have played a role.

The main purpose of the mission was to collect and bring samples to Earth, and insights into the asteroids orbiting the Earth and more accurate calculations of their orbits have become a significant achievement.

“The orbital data from this mission have helped us to better assess Bennu’s chances of penetrating Earth in the coming centuries and to improve his overall understanding of dangerous asteroids.

This is an incredible result, “said Dante Loretta, principal investigator at Osiris-Rex and a professor at the University of Arizona.

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