NASA announced on August 23, 2020, that an asteroid is making its way towards Earth and could enter the atmosphere on November 2, 2020, the day before the Presidential Election. Scientists at NASA reassure everyone that as scary as it may seem, the asteroid poses no threat to earth.
It’s called 2018VP1 and is about the size of an average refrigerator. 2018VP1 was discovered in 2018, as indicated by its name, and orbits near the Earth in intervals around the sun.
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.
This year’s flyby will be the asteroid’s first close approach to Earth since it was discovered in 2018 by the Zwicky Transient Facility at Palomar Observatory near San Diego. But while scientists consider this event to be a close approach, the asteroid will remain quite far away from Earth: more than 260,000 miles away.
Coincidentally, another asteroid will make a close approach on Election Day itself, November 3, 2020. Known to researchers as, 2020 HF4, this asteroid is somewhat larger at 26 to 60 feet across, but will remain much, much farther away, about 16 times the distance of the moon, according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies.
For more information on how NASA discovers and monitors asteroids, watch the video below.