Neil DeGrasse Tyson Says Asteroid Could Hit US Day Before Election

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 18 Oct 2020 17:47
Neil DeGrasse Tyson Says Asteroid Could Hit US Day Before ElectionPA Images/Pixabay

If 2020 hadn’t already been bad enough, Neil deGrasse Tyson says that an asteroid could hit the US just 24 hours before the November election.

The American astrophysicist and cosmologist confirmed the fact in an Instagram post shared yesterday, October 17.


The asteroid, named ‘2018VP1’ , has been described as being ‘refrigerator-sized’ and may ‘buzz-cut’ Earth on November 2, prior to the election on November 3.

Tyson wrote on his Instagram, ‘Asteroid 2018VP1, a refrigerator-sized space-rock, is hurtling towards us at more than 25,000 mi/hr. It may buzz-cut Earth on Nov. 2, the day before the Presidential Election.’

While a refrigerator-sized asteroid sounds pretty daunting, Tyson said that it’s not big enough to cause any harm, and joked that ‘if the World ends in 2020, it won’t be the fault of the Universe’.


The author also discussed the matter on Late Night With Seth Meyers last month. Meyers asked Tyson about the asteroid and what its ‘fallout’ would be.

Tyson explained:

I mean, you would see it if you were anywhere in sight line of it – it’s going 10 or 20 miles per second. When you hit air, even though air feels like you can just move through it, if you’re going really fast it’s like you’re hitting a brick wall so it would explode on impact.

He added, ‘You would see it all around, there would be a tremendous meteor shower – but it’s not going to harm anyone.’


NASA also confirmed the asteroid is heading towards Earth early next month. The space administration discovered the asteroid back in 2018, and have been tracking it ever since.

As per The Express, it said the asteroid could come as close as 4,700 feet from Earth, but only has a 0.41% chance of actually hitting our planet. This conclusion was reportedly based on 21 observations spanning 12.968 days.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Science, Asteroid, Astronomy, NASA, US Election