Monday, 18 January, 2021


Asteroid heading towards Earth in time for United States election

Tiny asteroid may hit Earth a day before US presidential poll NASA Asteroid to whiz by Earth just before Election Day
Kristine Garrett | 26 August, 2020, 16:45

An asteroid will pass close to Earth on November 2, one day before the United States presidential elections.

This November, an asteroid will swing by earth on the exact same day it did two years ago; except this time, it's also the eve of the USA election.

It could come as close as 4,700 miles (7,563km) or be as far away as 260,000 miles (418,429km) when it passes, meaning it may be nearer to Earth than the moon and some telecommunications space satellites when it flies by.

The headlines are irresistible: "Asteroid headed for Earth the day before Election Day"(Fox13) and "NASA: Asteroid headed toward Earth before November election" (the Hill).

Over the years, scientists have suggested different ways to ward off threats of more serious impact events, such as blowing up the asteroid before it reaches Earth, or deflecting it off its Earth-bound course by hitting it with a spacecraft. "Just in Time for the Election: An Asteroid?" the New York Times reported.

2018 VP1, which is the name of the asteroid, is about 6.5 feet in diameter.

According to the report, the "truck-size" asteroid would "burn off while hurtling towards the planet", due to its small size.

According to NASA data, the asteroid "2018 VP1" is quite small and has an estimated diameter of 1.8 to 3.9 meters.

Since 2005, NASA has been assigned by Congress to find 90% of the near-Earth asteroid that are about 460 feet or larger in size. If it did strike our environment, it would entirely break down up above us and pose no threat to anybody listed below.

Asteroids are small rock-like objects that orbit the sun. Hera, which is scheduled to launch in 2024, will arrive at the Didymos system in 2027 to measure the impact crater produced by the DART collision and study the change in the asteroid's orbital trajectory.

NASA said that the asteroid named 2020 QG passed above the southern Indian Ocean on August 16 at 12:08 am EDT (9.30 am IST).

The development comes a days after a car-sized asteroid zipping along at almost 13 kilometres per second made the closest-known flyby to Earth on record. Recent news about an asteroid getting dangerously close to Earth around Election Day had thrived across the internet, leaving many people anxious.

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