An asteroid will come close to Earth right before the US elections, and NASA adds more details to the initial report.
We are in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic and let’s be honest, 2020 has been a wild ride for each of us. Americans have taken the streets to protest against systemic racism and social injustice. Latest shootings seem to fuel mass protests.
The upcoming election just adds salt to the injury as people can’t stop arguing over their political stances. According to experts, COVID-19 may not be the only threat to planet Earth. Asteroid attack?!
Experts at the Center for Near Earth Objects Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have reported that an asteroid, 2018VP1, will come close to our planet a day before the elections. Experts at the Palomar Observatory in California were the first to identify the celestial object.
After observing the asteroid for 12,000 days, NASA predicted three potential impacts. The asteroid is 0.002 km or just 0.41% in diameter so it’s not really a threat to mankind. Moreover, there’s only a 0.41% chance it will hit the planet.
“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 CNEOS, noted of the newest findings.
“Our calculations show that this asteroid got turned by 45 degrees or so as it swung by our planet.”
This may not be a threat to our planet but it’s definitely disturbing to know that an asteroid may approach our country just a day before such an important event for the United States.
Asteroids are rocky airless leftovers of the formation of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. NASA believes that the current known count is 992,133. The largest asteroid is 530 kilometers in diameter.
Celestial objects don’t usually approach Earth. However, there are some predictions and exceptions. Remember the asteroid that passed 1950 kilometers above the southern Indian Ocean a week ago?