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Asteroid Has 0.41% Chance Of Hitting Earth Day Before US Election

by : Emily Brown on : 23 Aug 2020 09:44
Asteroid Has 0.41% Chance Of Hitting Earth Day Before US ElectionPixabay/PA Images

With the current chaotic state of the world, there’s probably a few people out there who would take their chances against an asteroid. 

It could give us the chance to start fresh, to appreciate all the good things in life and swiftly obliterate the bad things. For those hoping that’s the case, there’s a slim chance that it could actually happen, according to NASA.

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Okay, an asteroid hitting Earth would probably be more catastrophic than hopeful, but with everything else 2020 has thrown at us, I’m trying to find a bright side for this news.

The Center for Near Earth Objects Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been tracking a celestial object known as 2018VP1, and has determined that it will come close to Earth on November 2 – the day before the US election.

Though NASA hasn’t said the asteroid definitely won’t hit us, the agency has made it pretty clear that it’s unlikely. It says there are three potential impacts, but ‘based on 21 observations spanning 12.968 days’, it determined the chances of the asteroid hitting Earth are 0.41%, CNN reports.

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According to NASA’s close approach database, asteroid 2018VP1 is more likely to come between 4,700 miles and 260,000 miles from Earth. On the off chance it makes it to our atmosphere, it would appear as an extremely bright meteor and break up into tiny pieces.

Asteroid May Collide With Earth In Decades, ESA WarnsPixabay

Still, though it doesn’t look like the asteroid will bring Armageddon, we could hope that the relief people feel the day after the asteroid’s passing would kick Americans into gear, encouraging them to make the most of life and vote for a worthy leader on election day.

Preferably the majority will choose wisely, opting for someone who doesn’t go around causing chaos like the living embodiment of an asteroid (otherwise known as Donald Trump).

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Twitter users have been using the news to encourage people to vote early, and many people have admitted they’re not surprised at the news after everything else 2020 has thrown our way.

One person wrote:

An Asteroid coming at Earth the day before Election day is so 2020. I’m not even scared. Bring it on.

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It’s not strange for asteroids to come close to Earth, or even for them to impact our atmosphere, but they’re often spotted just days before their close approach, Forbes reports. 2018VP1 is unusual because it was spotted years before its passing, but that doesn’t mean it’s any more of a threat.

The asteroid was first identified at Palomar Observatory in California in 2018 and NASA has determined it is 0.002 km in diameter, or about 6.5 feet.

I imagine the 2020 bingo cards must be getting pretty full by now, but we still have four months to 2021!

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Asteroid, NASA, Now, President, Space

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CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    Oh, great: NASA says an asteroid is headed our way right before Election Day

  2. Forbes

    No, These Asteroids Are Not Predicted To Collide With Earth This Year