Don’t freak out, but an asteroid may or may not be headed for Earth. On the plus side, the folks at NASA are already working on a plan to stop it.
As reported by the Washington Post, Bennu, an asteroid comparable in size to the Empire State Building, has a 1 in 2,700 chance of smacking into our pale blue dot sometime in the year 2135. Sounds like a bit of a long shot, but consider your odds of dying in a bike accident are 4,900 to 1, and you’ll understand why NASA’s taking this thing seriously. (Hitting a hole-in-one? 12,500 to 1.)
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So what’s the plan? That would be HAMMER, or the “Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response.” Rather than destroy the asteroid, Armageddon-style, it’s more likely that they would try to gently nudge Bennu off-course with a blunt object or adjacent nuclear blast—the cosmic equivalent of dumping your leaves into your neighbor’s yard.
It doesn’t seem like anything to worry about. 2135 is a long way away, and if we don’t destroy ourselves first (global warming, nuclear war, trend diets), we’re confident our future robot overlords will know what to do.