An asteroid might hit the Earth a day before US election, says Neil deGrasse Tyson
If you’re a fan of the unlimited cosmos, then you may know October has some of the year’s best night skies with meteor and planet sightings. But November will be going a step further, it will bring an asteroid into the Earth!
Celebrity astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson informed his followers on Sunday that an asteroid is headed towards us. It will likely hit our planet just before election day. But don’t panic and say your last wishes already. This asteroid isn’t like the one that killed dinosaurs (probably). Tyson called it “diameter the size of a refrigerator” and added that this size isn’t large enough to cause any real damage to our planet.
The host of “Cosmos" also noted that the space rock is hurtling towards us at a speed of 25,000 miles/hour or 40,233 kilometres an hour. The asteroid is known as ‘2018VPI’ and may enter Earth’s atmosphere a day before the US election, November 2.
Tyson described it as, “It may buzz-cut Earth on Nov. 2, the day before the Presidential Election.” Again, fans of Doomsday prophesies should not worry as this minor asteroid will not be large enough to cause any amount of damage to our beloved planet.
He said if the world were to actually end in 2020, it wouldn’t be the fault of the universe. Wonder what the subtle hint means? Here’s the original post on Instagram:
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Asteroid 2018VP1, a refrigerator-sized space-rock, is hurtling towards us at more than 25,000 mi/hr. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It may buzz-cut Earth on Nov. 2, the day before the Presidential Election. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But it’s not big enough to cause harm. So if the World ends in 2020, it won’t be the fault of the Universe.
Maybe it’s the internet culture, or maybe it’s a result of living in 2020, but people had some morbidly funny reactions to the post. One user asked, “A fridge hurtling towards earth, wonder what’s for dinner.” Another said, “Can it fall on Trump?”
If you’re still worried about a superhero movie-like situation where all of humanity is endangered by a space rock, here’s what NASA had to say about it. The 2018VP1 was discovered two years ago. It is an Apollo-class asteroid which is a family of space rocks flying close to Earth. And there are many such rocks. The VP1 has a two-year orbital period and is estimated to come within nearly 5,000 kilometres to Earth. And here are two reasons why you shouldn’t worry.
1. It’s small. According to NASA’s potentially hazardous space objects, the asteroid should be at least 140 metres or 460 feet to cause any amount of harm. VP1 is about 1 metre.
2. There’s only 1 in 240 odds that it will actually hit the Earth. Most likely, it will safely flyby. Even if it did, it will disintegrate, and some people may see a nice meteor show.