Asteroid Bennu, which is estimated to be larger than the Empire State Building, safely skims past the planet every six years or so.
But astronomers have now warned there is a slim chance the 500m wide asteroid poses a threat to humanity.
NASA’s space boffins have calculated a one in 27,000 chance of Bennu slamming into planet Earth.
Astronomers believe Bennu to be a carbon-rich hunk of dead rock weighing an astonishing 78 billion kilograms.
The asteroid was discovered in 1999 by the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) Project.
Bennu was then named after an ancient Egyptian mythological bird, in a naming contest won by a North Carolina third grader named Michael Puzio.
Thankfully Bennu is neither big enough nor heavy enough to put an end to life on the planet.
- Radius: 200 m
- Orbit period: 438 days
- Mass: 7.8E10 kg
- Gravity: 0.00009807 m/s²
- Density: 1.26 g/cm³
Before this planet got this name, he normally known as Asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36. Thanks to a nine years old boy from North Caroline named Mike Puzio / Michael Puzio, who finally won the Name That Asteroid! Contest in 2013 that was ran by NASA. He envisioned the Touch-and-Go Test Component (TAGSAM) arm and sun oriented boards on OSIRIS-REx resemble the like neck and wings in illustrations of Bennu, which Egyptians generally delineated as a dim heron. (http://www.planetary.org/press-room/releases/2013/nine-year-old-names-asteroid.html)
Look at how big BENNU is!
WHAT IS BENNU?
Bennu is an asteroid.
WHAT MAKES BENNU SPECIAL?
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