The year 2020 just keeps getting better and better with a pandemic, an intense election season, and now an asteroid headed towards Earth the day before Election Day.
According to a database from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Objects Studies, space rock 2018VP1 will head past Earth on November 2, one day before the U.S. presidential election on November 3.
The rock is 6.5 feet in diameter and is not considered to be a “potentially dangerous” object, but the space agency is monitoring it and other asteroids similar to it. It was first discovered on November 3, 2018, and found again 13 days ago.
Based on the 21 observations of the asteroid NASA has noted, there are reported to be three potential places where it could collide with the Earth.
But NASA has noted that the likelihood of direct impact is very unlikely, with the odds of it hitting the Earth at 0.41 percent.
“Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, approximately 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth,” a NASA spokesperson told Fox News via email.
“If it were to enter our planet’s atmosphere, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size. NASA has been directed by Congress to discover 90% of the near-Earth asteroids larger than 140 meters (459 feet) in size and reports on asteroids of any size,” the spokesperson added.
NASA defines “potentially hazardous” asteroids as space objects that come within 0.05 astronomical units of Earth and measure more than 460 feet in diameter.
A 2019 survey showed that Americans would prefer a space program that studies the potential of asteroid impacts instead of sending humans back to the moon or to Mars for the first time.
That same year, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that an asteroid strike is something to be taken seriously and is perhaps Earth’s biggest threat.