Science

Asteroid 2018VP1 Poses No Threat to Earth

Asteroid 2018VP1 Poses No Threat to Earth”

NASA was extremely quick to respond to the breathless headlines, clearly stating that, though there is a very slight chance it'll "hit Earth" on November 2 2020, the day before the USA presidential election, 2018VP1 is only two meters in diameter so will likely burn up in the Earth's atmosphere if it does stray too close. The 2018 VP1 asteroid was thought to strike our planet one day before the 2020 US Presidential election. The asteroid was first spotted in 2018 by Palomar Observatory in California while it was around 450,000 kilometres (280,000 miles) away from Earth. Its trajectory has a high uncertainty, since it hasn't been seen since its discovery, but it has a two-year orbital period which means it is on its way back to us.

This so-called "dangerous" asteroid, called 2018VP1, has a 0.41 percent chance of crossing paths with Earth on November second and entering our environment- extremely low chances. However, the likelihood of direct impact is less than 0.41%, NASA noted. "Just in Time for the Election: An Asteroid?" the New York Times reported.

The size of asteroids like this one makes them hard to spot until they get close to Earth, but the majority pass by much farther away than the Moon, NASA said in a recent release.

Astronomers estimate that they are now tracking almost 2,000 asteroids, comets, and other objects that may threaten Earth, and new ones are found every single day. In a possible contact, it is stated that the asteroid will burn in the atmosphere before reaching the earth surface due to its size.

NASA says that, "based on 21 observations spanning 12.968 days", the agency has determined the asteroid probably won't have a deep impact.

More news: BBC row continues as Proms favourites stripped of vocals

This chart shows how data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has led to revisions in the estimated population of near-Earth asteroids.

In this case, 2020 QG was only discovered six hours after it had already passed by.

Asteroids orbiting around the solar system is not uncommon.

Designated as 2020QG, it is the closest known asteroid to fly by Earth without impacting the planet.



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