Photo: Stephane Masclaux/Shutterstock

An Asteroid Is Heading for Earth the Day Before Election Day

News Astronomy
by Eben Diskin Aug 25, 2020

If an asteroid crashed into Earth tomorrow, at least we’d be spared the stress of election season. But as it turns out, 2020 won’t let us off that easily as an asteroid is slated to pass dangerously close to Earth on the day before Election Day in the United States — though its chances of hitting our planet are extremely low.

The Center for Near Earth Objects Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory projects that asteroid 2018VP1 will come extremely close to Earth on November 2. The data shows that the asteroid’s chances of hitting Earth are just 0.41%, and NASA believes that it will likely miss us entirely. Even if there was a chance of impact, due to the asteroid’s small size, it would disintegrate.

In a statement, NASA said, “Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, approximately 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth. If it were to enter our planet’s atmosphere, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size. NASA has been directed by Congress to discover 90% of the near-Earth asteroids larger than 140 meters (459 feet) in size and reports on asteroids of any size.”

So yes, you’ll still be able to vote on Election Day, though depending on the results of the election you may wish the asteroid had hit us after all.

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