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This asteroid now has increased odds of hitting Earth

No need to panic over the asteroid Bennu, yet

The asteroid Bennu from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.
This undated image made available by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.
NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/CSA/York/MDA via Associated Press

The asteroid Bennu has higher odds than originally thought of slamming into Earth. But you don’t need to panic yet.

What is Bennu?

Per SyFy Wire, Bennu is an asteroid that measures about a half-kilometer wide. The asteroid currently has an orbit that is about 80 million to 124 million miles from the sun.

  • The asteroid is expected to pass close to Earth because of its orbit.
  • “This makes it not only a near-Earth asteroid but also a potentially hazardous asteroid (or PHA), one big enough that should it hit it can do widespread and serious damage,” according to SyFy Wire.

Bennu and another asteroid, (29075) 1950 D, remain the two most worrisome asteroids for Earth, according to Earth Sky. That’s at least based on what scientists know now.

What are the odds that Bennu hits Earth?

Per The Associated Press, scientists have been monitoring Bennu, which will continue to fly through space for the next 200 years. Recently, scientists suggested that the asteroid might have a higher chance of hitting Earth than originally thought.

Still, those odds are low. So while they’re greater than they were, they’re still low.

  • “We shouldn’t be worried about it too much,” said Davide Farnocchia, a scientist with NASA, told The Associated Press.

So what are the odds. Right now, there is a 1-in-1,750 chance the asteroid will hit Earth, AP reports. So if you roll the dice 1,750 times, there’s one time where this asteroid would hit us. Doctor Strange knows what I’m talking about.

  • Per the AP, these odds are slightly higher than the 1-in-2,700 chance that the asteroid had before.

Scientists are using NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft to keep an eye on the spacecraft.