What if I told you that just past Earth's home in the solar system, around 94 million miles from the Sun, a coal-black asteroid, called Bennu, gradually rotates as it circles our star. It's around 1,650 feet over, with a slight lump around the centre, similar to a spinning top.
According to Outer Places' report, the distance at which Bennu is is usually a safe distance from the Earth. And there's a 1 in 2,700 chance that it will hit us in about one hundred years. Small chance but not impossible. So the question is what do we do?
Well NASA has a plan called "HAMMER". NASA and the European Space Agency are also planning a mission called the Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment, which will see a satellite smashed into an asteroid in 2020.
This is because Asteroids, the size of Bennu, and giant asteroids like the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, don't cross Earth's path frequently. But smaller ones do constantly. They enter our atmosphere as meteors, where numerous explode in mid-air, some advance towards the ground or ocean. Fortunately, the space agency is improving at discovering them.
So if an asteroid reaches the earth, it would trigger a 6.7-magnitude earthquake. But the real damage would come from the air burst, caused by the meteor hurtling through the atmosphere, which could collapse buildings and tear down trees up to 30 miles away.
Furthermore, according to physicist David Dearborn, "If the asteroid is small enough, and we detect it early enough, we can do it with the impactor. The impactor is not as flexible as the nuclear option when we really want to change the speed of the body in a hurry."
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