A video shows the level of destruction that would occur if asteroid Bennu collides with Earth. Aside from the effects of a ground impact, the video also warns about massive tsunamis that the impact would create if the asteroid hits the ocean.
Currently, asteroid Bennu is one of the most dangerous space rocks that NASA's impact monitoring system Sentry is tracking. According to the system's database, the massive asteroid has a chance of hitting Earth almost 80 times from 2175 to 2199.
Effects of asteroid Bennu's impact
Last month, the YouTube channel Destiny posted a video to discuss the nature of the asteroid and its possible effects on Earth following an impact event. As noted by the video's narrator, the asteroid, which measures about 489 meters wide, would cause a significant level of destruction on Earth. Although it won't trigger extinction-level scenarios, the impact from the asteroid would wipe out large areas that are as big as cities or even states. It would create a crater that's almost five kilometres wide and cover its surrounding area with debris shortly after impact. Aside from this, the massive asteroid strike would trigger powerful earthquakes.
"At a distance of 3.1 miles away, the debris would arrive in just 32 seconds after the impact, everything in the area would be buried under 51.6 feet of the projectile," the video's narrator states. "No fireball would be created, but the impact would trigger an earthquake with a 6.7 magnitude on the Richter Scale."
Destruction from asteroid's ocean impact
As explained by the video, asteroid Bennu would certainly have a huge impact on Earth following a collision. But aside from the effects of a strike on land, the video also discusses what would happen if the asteroid hit the ocean instead. According to Sentry's data, Bennu could hit Earth with a velocity of almost 21,000 kilometres per hour. Combined with the asteroid's size and mass, these factors could guarantee that an ocean impact would create massive mega-tsunamis.
The narrator of the video notes that the asteroid strike could create tsunamis that are as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. These would travel over 30 miles away from the impact zone and destroy everything in their paths. "But let's say Bennu impacted on the ocean, a tsunami wave 92, to 183-feet-tall would be generated and a distance 31 miles from the impact site, the wave would arrive in just eight minutes," he says. "Life would be much safer 300 miles from the shore, but cities would still see dust and a major seismic event would follow."