NASA confirms that Asteroids 2018VP1 will not collide with Earth the day before the US elections

NASA confirms that Asteroids 2018VP1 will not collide with Earth the day before the US elections
© CC0 / Pixabay/MasterTux

Watching the news these days, you might think that an asteroid is on its way to Earth coinciding with the US presidential election on November 3, 2020

Despite the headlines, you don’t have to worry about this particular asteroid, known as 2018VP1. As its name suggests, it was discovered in 2018 when it was travelling about 450,000 kilometers from Earth. It has an orbital period of two years, and it is currently returning to us.

This time, the Apollo-class asteroid is estimated to be 4,994.76 kilometers from Earth. Which is quite a short distance in spatial terms. And because it is so close, there is a one in 240 chance – that is, 0.41% – that it will hit Earth on November 2, 2020, the day before the US presidential election.

Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, about 1.5 meters, and poses no threat to Earth. Currently, there is a 0.41% chance that it will enter our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size.

Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, aprox. 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth! It currently has a 0.42% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size.

Why does NASA say we don’t have to worry? This celestial body is the size of a small car, less than two meters in diameter, and does not have the ability to cause damage.

NASA’s list of potentially dangerous objects only includes those over 140 meters in diameter, while the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was at least 10 kilometers, and after losing some of its volumes when descending.

Asteroids the size of 2018VP1 will easily burn up in the atmosphere long before reaching Earth. So while there is a chance that one day a killer asteroid might finally crash into it, it won’t be 2018VP1.