Everyone dubs 2018VP1 as the election day asteroid. Consequently, it’s known to planetary researchers since 2018.
NASA had recently played down the asteroid’s risk to our planet. Prominent astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson Sunday left social media platforms abuzz. This chaos happened after he said an asteroid on an impact course with Earth might “buzz-cut” our planet. Consequently, the asteroid is due a day before the US presidential elections.
What Neil has to say
Asteroid 2018VP1, a refrigerator-sized space-rock, is hurtling towards us at more than 40,000 km/hr.
It may buzz-cut Earth on Nov 2, the day before the Presidential Election.
It’s not big enough to cause harm. So if the World ends in 2020, it won’t be the fault of the Universe. pic.twitter.com/eiy9G9w4Ez
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 18, 2020
Asteroid 2018VP1 is a refrigerator-sized space-rock. It is rushing towards Earth at higher than 25,000 mi/hr. It may buzz-cut Earth on Nov. 2. Consequently, it is the day ere the Presidential Election.
However, the famed writer stopped brief of expressing alarm. Consequently, he says, “But it’s not large enough to cause infliction. So if the World finishes in 2020, it won’t be the responsibility of the Universe.”
The asteroid, dubbed 2018VP1, is known to planetary researchers since 2018. Consequently, NASA had played down its risk to our planet as recently as August this year.
Neil: Danger from an asteroid or lack of it
“Asteroid 2018VP1 is very tiny. Also approx 6.5 feet. Consequently, it poses no threat to Earth! It presently has a 0.41% chance of penetrating our planet’s atmosphere. However, if it did, it would crumble due to its small size,” the space agency had said.
According to The Planetary Society, about 1 billion asteroids have a diameter larger than 1 meter.
Thus, objects that can cause significant damage upon contact are more extensive than 30 meters. The Chicxulub impactor is the celestial object that created most dinosaur species’ sudden extermination 66 million years ago. Consequently, its diameter was above 10 kilometers.
The significance of election day
The asteroid 2018VP1 was at the Palomar Observatory in California’s San Diego County two ages before. A 13-day observational arc happened. However, afterward, there was no detection of the asteroid again.
Initially, the asteroid—which holds a two-year orbital time—was around 2,80,000 miles apart from the Earth, according to Science Alert.
However, this year, the asteroid could be as near as 4,700 miles, according to NASA’s compact access database.
The final verdict
2018VP1 has a diameter of all just two meters. Thus, it is around the size of a small vehicle. Thereby it would likely light up into an intense fireball. This event will happen after it enters the Earth’s atmosphere before touching the territory.
According to NASA, such an event appears about once every year.
As per NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Programme, asteroids that are 140 meters or more extensive (more significant than a little football stadium) are of “the greatest attention.”
Conclusively, this valid concern is due to the level of destruction their impact is capable of causing.
Image courtesy of Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock