NASA data reveals that an asteroid is projected to come close to Earth on November 2nd, exactly a day prior to elections.
The asteroid is called 2018VP1 and was first identified at Palomar Observatory, California, in 2018. It will not really have much of an impact on earth’s surface, according to “21 observations spanning 12.968 days.”
NASA Asteroid Watch said on Twitter, “Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, approx. 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth! It currently has a 0.41% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size.”
Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, approx. 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth! It currently has a 0.41% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size.
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) August 23, 2020
“Close approaches by small objects of this size are not rare, and even if something of this size were to impact, the object would not likely survive the Earth’s atmosphere,” Donald Yeomans, a senior researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told the New York Times.
When it was discovered in 2018, it was around 450,000 kilometres (280,000 miles) away from Earth. It has a two-year orbital period, and is now making its way back towards us.
It is estimated to come within 4,994.76 kilometres of the Earth.
Asteroids and comets are considered potentially hazardous when they are large in size and have an orbit that could bring them very close to earth’s surface. They could cause regional damage upon hitting the planet.
But the one that’s approaching us now does not pose a threat.
Last week, an asteroid flew just 1,830 miles over the southern Indian Ocean. That makes it the closest non-impacting asteroid that has flown past Earth on record, according to NASA.
“It’s really cool to see a small asteroid come by this close, because we can see the Earth’s gravity dramatically bend its trajectory,” Paul Chodas, director of Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), said.
“Our calculations show that this asteroid got turned by 45 degrees or so as it swung by our planet,” he added.