NASA has predicted that a small asteroid heading towards the Earth has a 0.41 per cent chance of hitting the planet one day before the US presidential election that is scheduled for November 3.
The asteroid which was first identified at Palomar Observatory in California in 2018 is predicted to pass near Earth. NASA says there are three potential impacts. However, ‘based on 21 observations spanning 12.968 days,’ the US space agency has determined the asteroid probably won`t have a deep impact. The asteroid “2018VP1” has a diameter of 0.002 km (about 6.5 feet) and is speculated to pass near Earth one day before the 2020 US election.
Last weekend, a car-sized asteroid flew past our home in the closest flyby of such space rocks on record and scientists hardly had any information about it until it departed.
The vast majority of Near Earth Asteroids, or NEAs pass by safely at much greater distances — usually much farther away than the Moon. The asteroid, however passed 2,950 kilometres above the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday at 12.08 am EDT (9.38 pm India time), NASA said. It was spotted by two students of IIT-Bombay, hailing from Pune and Haryana – Kunal Deshmukh and Kritti Sharma – who happen to be working on a research project to hunt for Near Earth Asteroids. They discovered the SUV sized celestial object just hours later using data from the robotic Zwicky Transient Facility, (ZTF), California.
The first image of this record-setting space rock, asteroid 2020 QG, was taken by a NASA-funded facility six hours after the closest point of approach as the asteroid was heading away from Earth.