An asteroid will head towards Earth right before the US election: NASA

Aug 24 2020, 1:45 pm

An Earth-rattling mass is headed towards the planet in November, and it’s not Donald Trump.

According to the Center for Near Earth Objects Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an asteroid is projected to zoom pretty close to Earth on November 2, the day before the 2020 US presidential election.

The asteroid, known as 2018VP1, was first identified at the Palmor Observatory in San Diego County in 2018. It’s expected to be anywhere between 1.8 metres to 3.9 metres in diameter and has a 0.41 percent chance of actually making contact with our planet.

Asteroids are small rock-like objects that orbit the sun. NASA says asteroids can range in size from that of a pebble to ones that are measured in hundreds of miles in diameter.

Asteroids orbiting around the solar system is not uncommon. In fact, a car-sized asteroid made its closest-known approach to Earth earlier in August when it zoomed by the planet without researchers even knowing until hours after it had passed.

NASA says Asteroid 2020 QG (formerly known as ZTFoDxQ) flew by Earth on August 15 at 12:08 am EDT, getting as close as 2,945 kilometres away. According to NASA, it was the closest an asteroid flyby has ever been recorded to Earth.

The CNEOS says the chance of November’s 2018VP1 striking Earth is very unlikely, but considering everything we’ve gone through already in 2020, would anyone really be that surprised?

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