An “apocalypse asteroid” that could spell doom for our planet has been snapped up-close-and-personal by NASA.
The agency released its best photos yet of Bennu, which is roughly 1,600 feet wide, taken by its high tech Osiris-Rex spacecraft.
Bennu, an asteroid that sits 72,000 miles from Earth, is billions of years old, and scientists hope to uncover how life formed on Earth by studying the rock’s chemical makeup.
It has been branded an “apocalypse asteroid,” and NASA says it has a one in 2,700 chance of hitting our planet in the next century.
If it collides with Earth, the rock will release 80,000 times more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast.
Osiris-Rex has orbited Bennu since December and took its latest images on Jan. 17 when it was only a mile above the space rock’s surface.
The space probe took the closeup using its NavCam 1 navigation camera, which it normally uses to track the path of its orbit.
Bennu is the smallest object ever orbited by a spacecraft.
The space rock’s size means its gravitational pull is not very strong, so Osiris-Rex has to keep a close eye on it to make sure it’s on the right path.
The space probe aims to help scientists understand what makes up the asteroids that whizz past our planet.
Osiris-Rex found signs of water on Bennu just days after it landed on the mysterious space rock.