Many scientists believe that it’s only a matter of time until a Chicxulub 2.0 asteroid will pay us an unwanted visit like it happened when the dinosaurs were wiped out long ago. Recent news about an asteroid getting dangerously close to Earth around Election Day had thrived across the internet, leaving many people worried.
Thankfully, NASA once again comes to clarify things. The 2018 VP1 asteroid was thought to strike our planet one day before the 2020 US Presidential election. The American space agency says:
“Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, approx. 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth! It currently has a 0.41% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size.”
The 2018VP1 asteroid will come within 4,994.76 kilometers of Earth. That may sound like a huge distance for us, but for the Universe, it’s practically nothing.
What can humanity do against a ‘global killer’
NASA will soon test a method of deflecting an asteroid, hoping that it will successfully use it at a larger scale sometime. Space agencies track most of the nearby sky, although it’s impossible to detect any possible threat. For example, an asteroid the size of a car skimmed Earth at 27,600 mph and got as close as 1,830 miles on August 16. Space agencies didn’t see the space rock coming, but a NASA-funded program was able to detect it only several hours after its closest approach to our planet at 1,830 miles. Whether we like it or not, this is another proof that NASA, ESA, Roscomos, or any other space agency cannot monitor the whole sky for cosmic threats. There’s no one hundred percent reliable technology at the moment for destroying an asteroid that could cause some damage to Earth, and the best humanity can do is to deflect it after detecting it (hopefully).
There you have it, the 2018VP1 asteroid is harmless, and it seems like the Universe will have to come up with a better idea to ruin the US Presidential election.