Udayavni Special

What is Asteroid 2018VP1, headed towards Earth right before US Election Day?


Team Udayavani, Aug 25, 2020, 1:21 PM IST

According to the Center for Near Earth Objects Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, The celestial object known as 2018VP1 is projected to come close to Earth on November 2.  It was first identified at Palomar Observatory in California in 2018.

NASA claimed that Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, approximately 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth. If it were to enter our planet’s atmosphere, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size

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.

What is Asteroid 2018VP1?

According to Space reference, 2018 VP1 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. As its name suggests, it was discovered back in 2018 while it was around 450,000 kilometres (280,000 miles) away from Earth.

NASA JPL has classified 2018 VP1 as a “Near Earth Asteroid” due to its orbit’s proximity to Earth, but it is not considered potentially hazardous because computer simulations have not indicated any imminent likelihood of future collision.

Scientists claim that the asteroid will not be able to damage our home planet as it the size of a small car,  around 2 metres (7 feet) in diameter and does not have the girth for large-scale damage. It will easily burn up in the atmosphere long before they make it to the ground.

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