Thursday , December 3 2020

NASA: Apocalypse asteroid & # 39; Bennu accelerates, but it can be good news

Scientists have found that a huge space rock called the "apocalypse asteroid" & # 39; spins faster as it zooms through space.

A new study has found that the rotation of Bennu is increasing over time as it travels through the cavity.

Any change in the movement of a massive asteroid with a very small chance of hitting the ground may sound scary.

But in fact, the discovery can be good news because it means that Bennu can "lose pieces of himself or blow himself apart" and reduce its devastating power.

An image of Bennu created by sewing together images snatched by Nasa's OSIRIS-REx probe (Source: Nasa / Goddard / University of Arizona)

Researchers from the University of Arizona analyzed data produced by Nasa's OSIRIS-REx probe to find that the object's rotation is accelerating by one second every century.

"As things go fast, things need to be changed, and then we need to look for those things and it's possible to discover this speed and give us some traces of the kind of things we need to search for," said Mike Nolan, a senior researcher at Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona.

"We should be looking for evidence that something was different in the recent past and that is conceivable things that can change when we go."

Bennu is as wide as five football pitches and weighs about 79 billion kilograms, which is 1,664 times heavier than the Titanic.

The artist's impression of OSIRIS-REx spacecraft expands its sampling arm as it moves in to get in touch with the asteroid Bennu (Image: Nasa)

MORE: Nasa to investigate the death star in a galaxy condemned to smash into the Milky Way

It has a 1 in 2,700 chance to hit the ground between 2175 and 2199 – which is really very small, so there's no need to worry about the safety of your great grandchildren.

Bennu is big enough to wipe out a city, but a direct collision will probably allow mankind to survive and fight another day.

"We're not talking about an asteroid that could destroy the earth," said Nasa Osiris-Rex chief researcher Dante Lauretta in 2016.

"We are not anywhere near that kind of energy for an impact."

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