Asteroid passing Earth before the election is real, but NASA isn't worried

The Michael Jordan-size asteroid has a 0.41% chance of entering Earth's atmosphere.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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Artist's concept of a near-earth asteroid.


It's easy to look at 2020 and assume an asteroid coming in close to Earth this year will be just one more disaster to add to the pile. But it's going to be OK, at least as far as asteroid 2018 VP1 is concerned.

Yes, the asteroid is scheduled to get uncomfortably close to Earth on Nov. 2, the day before the US elections. It may even enter our atmosphere, but it doesn't herald doomsday.

NASA  Asteroid Watch, which keeps an eye on these space rocks, tweeted some reassurances on Sunday. 

Asteroid 2018 VP1 measures roughly 6.5 feet (2 meters) in diameter. "It currently has a 0.41% chance of entering our planet's atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size," NASA said.

Asteroid 2018 VP1 is more of a space speck than a big bad harbinger of destruction. Space is a busy place and asteroids sweep past Earth all the time, including the occasional surprise asteroid that sneaks up on us

NASA has been tracking 2018 VP1 since, well, 2018. We knew it was coming back for a visit. If it does hit our atmosphere, it will be much worse for the asteroid than it will be for us.

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