Nasa releases incredible new pictures of the gigantic 'apocalypse asteroid' Bennu

Nasa has just released a new set of pictures of the asteroid snapped by the OSIRIS-Rex probe, which is orbiting at a distance of just one mile above the surface.

The OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft took these images on January 17 (Photo: Nasa/ Goddard/ University of Arizona/ Lockheed Martin)Bennua is the smallest celestial body ever to be orbited by a spacecraft (Source: Nasa)A picture of Bennu released in 2018 (Source: Nasa/ Goddard/ University of Arizona)It has a 1 in 2,700-chance of striking Earth between 2175 and 2199 – which is really very good odds so there’s probably no need to worry unduly for your great, great grandchildren’s safety.

Osiris-Rex arrived at Bennu in early December and will try to collect samples of the rock in 2020 and attempt to return them to Earth.

It’s also believed Bennu may contain the building blocks of life, so recovering a sample will allow scientists to test a theory that asteroids carried vital chemical to earth which sparked the genesis of living organisms.

But the behemoth could also bring death on a gigantic scale, so the tests will also help to understand our nemesis and how to make sure it doesn’t hit us.

If a disastrous impact came to pass, it would release more energy than all the nuclear weapons detonated in the entirety of human history.

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