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Asteroid to approach Earth on day before election, but it 'poses no threat'

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Posted at 11:42 AM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 12:19:20-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As if 2020 hasn’t been crazy enough, an asteroid is projected to come close to Earth on Nov. 2, the day before Election Day.

There’s no need to prepare a doomsday bunker though. NASA says asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, about 6.5 feet, and “poses no threat to Earth!”

According to NASA, the asteroid has a .41% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere and even if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size.

The asteroid was discovered in 2018 by astronomers in California who are on the lookout for dangerous space rocks and other cosmic surprises, The New York Times reports.

Asteroid 2018VP1 seems to be making headlines because of its proximity to the contentious U.S. election, but another small asteroid buzzed by Earth just this month and it came closer to the planet than any other on record, according to NASA.

The SUV-sized space rock passed 1,830 miles above the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 12:08 a.m. ET.

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.

“These larger asteroids pose a much greater threat if they were to impact, and they can be detected much farther away from Earth, because their rate of motion across the sky is typically much smaller at that distance,” wrote NASA.