What Would Happen If Asteroid Bennu Hit Earth?

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After OSIRIS REx grabbed a sample a coupe of weeks ago many people remarked on how the asteroid just seemed to disintegrate when sampled. Some commenters took this fragility as a sign the asteroids would just disintegrate in the atmosphere before it hit the surface of earth.

Unfortunately that’s not the case, Bennu is so large that it would still hit the surface, albeit in fragments and still cause massive amounts of damage.

  1. Oscar Jeans

    Getting that close sounds like an ideal candidate to test out some asteroid mining stuff. A rocket to 0.5-2x luna distances sounds very doable especially by 2060

  2. G. Sowul

    6:10 when its a _pioneer_ (soviet scouts) salute

  3. Nathaniel Pontinovitz

    Why do they show my backyard is outer space meteorite footage

  4. Fernando Queiroz Popovic

    I’ll tell you what happens. We finally have the sweet release of death.

    Edit: ok guys I get it i made yi uall laugh a little bit but it’s about enough with the likes we have to prep stuff if something happens so we survive the fallout.

  5. portargo

    “Loaded up and Trucking . . .” (Heard about a gent in the tractor of a big rig, who reached down to engage his Jake brake lever when he spotted a ‘Smokey Bear’ bearing down on him, going the other way. Problem turned out to be, that he hit the switch that opened the doors holding in a whole bunch of little rocks. This “county mounty” was not best pleased, at what all of that gravel did to his Bubble Gum Machine, when the trucker’s ‘rubble pile’ impacted his cruiser and nearly washed it off the roadway and into the ditch.)

  6. Miguel Viola


  7. Apocalips

    I never watch ‘what if’ YT postings……

  8. Comrade Doofensmirtz

    someone could make a fanfic that the samples had alien life and some sort of pandemic trying to contain it thats reproducing fast

  9. Andre Gulbis

    Friggin amazing.

  10. themikeshow

    Scott, my eyes are up here!

  11. Allan.F

    When Bennu passes in 2060, will it be close enough that Earth’s gravity causes Bennu to fragment (Roche Limit?)?

  12. cooleosis1

    great video, i never thought of drag as kinetic energy because of the weight of the air before

  13. MrGonzonator

    What do you get when you cross a crumbling space rock with a species that pokes it and treats it like an experiment!? I’ll tell you what you get: YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE: A Scott Manley video!

  14. Robert C

    Scott can you do a video on the feasibility of capturing asteroids into an orbit around the moon? I’m honestly curious if some day we would do this to mine resources.

  15. Marijn R

    Your head seems to have recovered its shiny streamlined fairing again. However, there is this eyebrow sticking out, reminding me of Count von Count from Sesamestreet.

  16. El Hungaro

    Thanks Scott 🖐️…. Well done… Well explained. Much appreciated 👍

  17. ZiemakAttack

    At this point, I hope that’s exactly what ends up happening

  18. Electric_Bagpipes

    Keep in mind, nukes are exploded in the air to maximize damage.

  19. Michael Anderson

    Earth saving asteroid detection and nudging technology is “dual use” – it has offensive military application.

  20. alsmith20000

    5:55 1 bar is about 100kpa i.e. one atmosphere

  21. Lazy S Listener

    so good, love this guy.

  22. zachary hebert

    this what i needed, thx scott

  23. bast roJ xHass

    10:43 has the best 😍💋 💝💖❤️

  24. EvilMcSheep

    WAIT EARTH????

  25. Don Roy

    Thanks Scott ! A great episode…. Cheers ;-)

  26. Al Quinn

    7:12 I fail to see the downside

  27. Film Maniac

    hey sir, this is a good topic since 2021 is coming.. you know, to put our hearts ready for every possible way..

  28. JamieSteam

    Where did that “21st century asteroid events” video come from? I can’t find it anywhere.

  29. Bert Blankenstein

    “Bennu is a pile of rubble held together by gravity.” So in another words, much like the Canadian Rockies..?.

  30. Look Inverted

    So that “poke” could make it land on my garage instead of my house? How much of a change.. in theory?

  31. Miroslav Milan

    TIL asteroids have keyholes. Thanks Scott!

  32. Sith Ticklefingers

    —It would fit right in with the rest of 2020…

  33. Celestine Machuca

    I really hope that it hits while doing my finals

  34. Jerry Jiang

    Starship goes zoom and boom on Bennu

  35. smoothvirus

    7:12 oh great! Thanks Scott, why does it have to hit my town?? lol

  36. flerchin

    Hey Scott, my 8yo says that the light saber held by Darth Vader in the background has the wrong hilt. What’s up with that?

  37. majorburly2007

    Thanks for explaining that we pushed this away from earth. I was curious if the sampling caused an orbital change.

  38. brocoli

    Outer wilds poster in the back wall <3

  39. Tetiera

    What Would Happen If Asteroid Bennu Hit Earth?
    Smth very no bennu!

  40. Jules E

    *”un kg de plume vs un kg de plomb” INTENSIFIES*

  41. Genericyoutubename

    Thank you Scott for answering the question I had on your last Bennu video, fly safe!

  42. Antonio Maglione

    Thank you for the detailed explanations! Very appreciated…

  43. Walter

    May be there is some gold inside Bennu !
    The first one who gets there with some dynamite is the winner !

  44. Jake Edwards

    The scale still gets me. Does someone have a simulation with some objects for scale 🤔🤔

  45. Jari Gustafsson

    this was very interesting, thank you.

  46. Vyxel OP

    It’s okay, Mun will protecc from Bennu.

  47. Tim Robinson

    I’ve seen this before! I believe giant octopus take over South America when the probe crashes.

  48. Avatar2312

    According to the description of its interior structure, we must see, that it lands in a giant latte

  49. RockGeek00

    I still say we should refuel or strap a booster onto O-Rex when it comes back in 2023 then accelerate it into bennu more than enough energy to mass scatter it.

  50. Paul Furey

    LOOK there are no stars in the sky and the Asteroid is flat!!!!!


  51. little special child

    Who would win

    The cradle of known civilization with empires spanning all across the planet


    One lonely grey boy

  52. Satan Official

    “Energy is energetic.”
    —Albert Einstein

  53. Thomas Dunlap

    “If it’s loose pieces, does it pose any threat?” asked the people who forgot what shotgun shells are made of.

  54. Stephen

    That’s my move to Rockville cancelled then – thanks for the heads up.

  55. imbw267

    7:20 Scott Manley nukes DC for good measure.

  56. Athanasius Casanova

    Really loving the frequent uploads, this content is great

  57. markiangooley

    “I will show you fear in a handful of ancient asteroid material…”

  58. Wroger Wroger

    I saw the hypersonic tests, in a simplistic sense, where an asteroid, breaks up on the way in – but the plume of super heated gas continues downward, so you get shock wave blast, and a super heated fire ball hitting the ground.

  59. Christopher Gammon

    0:21 “Pixctures”?

  60. Tha Swami

    watching the b612 animation it appears alot of asteroids hit in 2006, is there some reason for this? 🤔

  61. Mush V. Peets

    inb4 we accidentally gravity-tractored it into ourselves while OSIRIS-REX was keeping itself parked above the asteroid waiting to take a sample

  62. Dirk Allen Garcia

    I’ve just wanted to see an asteroid hitting the Earth in my life

  63. Batmeme

    2020: *Good Question*

  64. Chantillian

    We’ll need to harvest all the iron meteors we can if we’re ever gonna have enough material for a Dyson sphere. ;)

  65. mesonparticle

    “Fly safe!” whilst pointing! ☝️ nice 👍

  66. Bart 1

    Scott love ur content and im sorry I have to correct you on this but, 1bar =100kPa not 100bar. Keep up the good content!

  67. Total Timewaster

    Unrelated to the actual content of the video… 8:08 is such a beautiful way to display inclination

  68. F-22


    …and I took that personally

  69. Jibba Jabba

    Well if it hit us I guess we wouldn’t have to worry too much about “other things happening at the moment…..” LOL

  70. FLAMINGMOH(Mohawesome)

    7:17 Woah! Why did you put the blast zone there?
    The Secret Service would like to know your location.

  71. Роман Рыжих

    1:50 Oh, I know that by watching GrayStillPlays

  72. Arif R Winandar

    “So without even trying, we have actually changed things.” Pretty much sums up the history of humanity on Earth.

  73. Bill Kerr

    “Saving the Earth.”
    What Science is for.

  74. Ricardo C

    There is also this rare occourance (possibility) where an asteroid comes in and out of the atmosphere

  75. Frank Pitts

    2020 wouldn’t surprise me if it gave us a big smack with an asteroid or meteor. The way this year is going. I won’t tempt fate.

  76. Robert Osaba

    Thank you Scott for the amazing content!
    You have inspired me to want to study aerospace engineering!!!!

  77. Aubrey Freeman

    I just read the part of Nemesis Game where the asteroids hit. Incredible timing!

  78. Hamsterdave

    With it being so loosely composed, could a kinetic impactor be a viable option to disrupt it a few days/weeks/months before it impacted the earth, distributing a big portion of it’s mass over a much larger area? I’m now imagining Elon hitting the thing with a Tesla Roadster on an escape trajectory from Earth.

  79. skorpiongod

    Now we’re asking the real questions

  80. flinsy

    We need Bruce Willis on this problem, stat.

  81. Hongliang Lim

    Scientists on Earth: **Pokes Bennu**
    Bennu: So you have chosen death

  82. alex1

    When I close my eyes I can still hear this guy saying AIR-th

  83. Callum McGauchie

    *Humans see an asteroid*
    “You know… I really wanna poke it with a stick.”

  84. Ed Nelson

    Ok now your just giving 2020 ideas

  85. Maldus Alver

    A most fitting end for the year of 2020

  86. Lukas audax

    Hey Scott, don’t you think it’s interesting that asteroids always seem to hit craters when they collide with earth? Maybe you could do a video about it?

  87. Dreadfullink

    If that hit Buenos Aires i can see the Mobile infantry being deployed to Klendathu

  88. Josef Krakel

    7:25 Thanks for blowing up Rockville MD. The traffic there is terrible anyways.

  89. michael doughty

    I think it would take the edge off my day fore sure.

  90. P Kramer

    * 5:55 100 bar is 10.000 kilopascal

  91. Mycel

    1:36 they weren’t kidding with the winged shoes on mercury… that planet is hauling ass!

  92. Daniel Reyna

    Given the “rubble pile” composition, how would tidal disruption during approach to Earth impact affect the spread of the overall mass as it entered the atmosphere? I would expect that in the last minutes the breakup would make it more difficult to reach the ground. Of course, this would all depend on things like approach angle and overall relative velocity.

  93. WinterHell

    Can we split Bennu in two and direct the halves to Twitter & Facebook HQ? That might actually qualify as “saving humanity”.

  94. Les Hemmings

    It’s the old school kid maths question, “What weighs more, a tonne of iron or a tonne of feathers?”

  95. Cannon1221

    Mass is mass. When talking about the different types of asteroids hitting Earth a teacher once told us to imagine a shotgun slug vs bird shot.

  96. Scotracer1987

    Hi Scott. I’m another Scott, from Scotland and I studied Aerospace engineering :)

  97. Kevon Daye


  98. Monostripe Explosive Expl

    I just realized that we have started asteroid mining… now it is only a small step towards a pirate base in one!

  99. Marci124

    “One ton of solid iron has the same kinetic energy as one ton of loose gravel”
    “Ah dohn get eht.”

  100. Cody'sLab

    Crazy idea but is there any possibility of changing the asteroids trajectory so that it gets a gravity assist off earth that sends it into another planet? This would remove possibility of future impact and we could study/use the impact somewhere else.

Comments are closed.