Team Updates

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.

’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.



Bennu Asteroid

- Radius: 200 m

- Orbit period: 438 days

- Mass: 7.8E10 kg

- Gravity: 0.00009807 m/s²

- Density: 1.26 g/cm³

Ain Ajeerah Binti Ramli
  • Bennu is officially classified as a potentially dangerous asteroid.
  • In fact, there's an 0.037 percent (or 1-in-2,700) chance that it will strike Earth in the last quarter of the 22nd century, NASA scientists have calculated.
  • Bennu would impact Venus rather than Earth. But its orbit could change over time.
  • During an Earthy flyby in 2135, Bennu will hit a special orbit-altering "keyhole" that will send it on a collision course with the planet later in the century.
  • OSIRIS-REx will help scientists refine those odds, by refining their understanding of Bennu's orbit.
  • "Our uncertainties will shrink, so that will allow us to recalculate the impact probability," Lauretta said. "We don't know which direction it'll go. It could go down, because we just eliminated a bunch of possible keyholes that Bennu may hit. Or it may go up, because in the area that's left we have a higher concentration of keyholes compared to the overall area of the uncertainty plane."
  • OSIRIS-REx's work will also help researchers better understand the Yarkovsky effect, which describes how absorbed sunlight, when radiated away as heat, affects an object's trajectory. Such information will improve knowledge not only of where Bennu is headed, but where it came from, Lauretta said.


Ain Ajeerah Binti Ramli

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. (

hafizahHafizatul Adawiyah Ayub
  • Bennu is an asteroid that whizzes past Earth every few years and has chances to collide with Earth in 200 years from now.
  • Bennu is chosen as a target asteroid to be studied because it is close to Earth.
  • Bennu may contain the building blocks of life as it is the leftover fragment from the formation of the solar system.
  • Bennu was discovered by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) project, which detects and tracks near-Earth objects, in 1999.
  • It’s original name is 1999RQ36 which is the 916th object observed in the first half of September 1999.
  • 500 meters in diameter
  • It orbits the sun every 1.2 years or 436.604 days. Every 6 years it will orbiting near the Earth about 0.002AU or 300,000 kilometers.
  • Bennu is a categorized as carbonaceous (dark) asteroids. It contains primitive materials. Bennu have materials such as volatiles (compound with a low boiling point), amino acids and organic molecules as a B-type class asteroids that may lead to the origin of life on Earth.
  • It density is less than rock, a loosely-held-together group of dust, rock and boulders with holes inside.
  • It is also a moderate-sized regolith(soil) grains across its surface and a smooth object.
  • Act as a blackbody, Bennu absorbs sun’s radiation and radiates the heat and cause Yarkovsky effect that affects its orbit.
  • Bennu's orbit and shape are also shaped as it repeatedly passes close to Venus and Earth.
  • Bennu is one of the astroids that contain the information about how the solar system formed. One of the theory of the solar system’s formation states that a nebula (cloud of gas) was disturbed by an outside event, such as a stellar explosion. The nebula contracted and in its heart, some of the material coalesced into our sun. Surrounding the young sun was a disc of rock and gas that over time, gradually came together into the planets we observe today. The planets formed out of building blocks called chondrules, which originated as molten rock. Scientists suggest that Bennu also may have a lot of chondrules within it. And it has the information on the early formation of our solar system.
  • Bennu also can be formed from a collision because of many material floating during the early solar system. Bennu was formed from the debris after a planetesimal crashed into an asteroid.

Credit :

  • The OSIRIS-Rex stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security and Regolith Explorer is a NASA asteroid study and sample-return mission.
  • It’s objective is to travel to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu and bring a small sample back to Earth for study.
  • OSIRIS-Rex probe or spacecraft will create a 3D map of Bennu’s surface using Canadian instrument OLA so that scientists can choose a sample site for the sample.
  • The mission launched on 8th September 2016, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As planned, the spacecraft will reach Bennu in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023.

credit :


Animation of Bennu spinning next to Empire State Building and Eiffel Tower

Look at how big BENNU is!

farhaadyAdila Farha Binti Abdul Kadir


Bennu is an asteroid.


  1. It is close to Earth
  2. It is the right size
  3. It is really old
  4. It is well preserved
  5. It might hold clues to the origin of life
  6. It contains valuable materials
  7. It will help us to understand other asteroid better
  8. It will help us to understand solar force
  9. It is a gift that will keep on giving


farhaadyAdila Farha Binti Abdul Kadir

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