NASA, the United States space agency, has bad news for Earthlings – a huge asteroid might hit our planet in less than 160 years from now with the force of 24 most powerful nuclear bombs, the equivalent of 1,400 megatons of energy.
The event is slated for 24 September 2182 and there’s a 0.04% chance - one in 2,700 – the 490-meter-wide object called Bennu would splash onto Earth on that date, according to NASA calculations.
Bennu, which travels more than 11 kilometers per second, falls into the category of "city-killers," asteroids capable of devastating urban areas if they were to impact Earth.
NASA scientists said in a new study that the probability of such an event occurring is virtually zero until 2100 and remains minimal thereafter.
Bennu periodically approaches Earth, coming as close as approximately 4.8 million kilometers, but typically maintains a safe distance.
NASA thinks Bennu was likely created at about the same time as Earth, about 4.5 billion years ago.
A NASA spacecraft called OSIRIX-Rex returned in late September to the US after a five-year journey to Bennu with 60 grams of asteroid dust.
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