Asteroid Has 0.41 Percent Chance Of Striking Earth Day Before US Election
Oct 21 2020
They also have to be passing by in an orbit close enough to have a chance of hitting. The asteroid is a measly 2 meters, or 6.5 feet, across, making it slightly smaller than a compact Smart auto. "Considering the stakes and the year we're all having, maybe a 1 in 240 chance still feels a little high for comfort", writes Jacinta Bowler at Science Alert.
As if 2020 needed another bout of apocalyptic news, reports circled this weekend that an asteroid is headed toward Earth right on Election Day.
NASA said the likelihood of the asteroid actually making it to Earth is only 0.41% - a very slim chance.
Named 2018VP1, it was discovered back in November 2018 and was recorded to be 450,000 km away from Earth.
By chance, another asteroid will make a close approach on the US's Election Day itself, November 3.
Forbes, on the other hand, opposes these speculations and is clarifying that NASA scientists are not concerned with the asteroid's arrival.
Next up, on Wednesday, asteroid 2020 FF3, measuring 25 meters in diameter will come far closer, though maintaining a safe distance of 2.4 million kilometers.
NASA projects that every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and would cause significant damage to a specific area. In February, researchers in the Netherlands discovered 11 "potentially hazardous objects" that are not on NASA's list of "potentially hazardous" near-Earth objects, using advanced artificial intelligence. According to experts, during the time of its close approach, this space rock will come as close to between 4,700 miles and 260,000 miles of Earth. "Just in Time for the Election: An Asteroid?" the New York Timesreported. In a possible contact, it is stated that the asteroid will burn in the atmosphere before reaching the earth surface due to its size.
To put the danger in context, the Chelyabinsk meteor which exploded above Russian Federation in February 2013 was just 18 meters in diameter, proving that it doesn't take much for a meteorite or asteroid to cause a vast amount of destruction.