But don’t be alarmed: Scientists reported that the odds are still quite low that Bennu will hit us in the next century.
“We shouldn’t be worried about it too much,” said Davide Farnocchia, a scientist with NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who served as the study’s lead author.
While the odds of a strike have risen from 1-in- 2,700 to 1-in-1,750 over the next century or two, scientists now have a much better idea of Bennu’s path thanks to NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft, according to Farnocchia.
“So I think that overall, the situation has improved,” he told reporters.
The spacecraft is headed back to Earth on a long, roundabout loop after collecting samples from the large, spinning rubble pile of an asteroid, considered one of the two most hazardous known asteroids in our solar system. The samples are due here in 2023.
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