November is heating up to be a very interesting month with a heavily contested presidential election and an asteroid that may be on a collision course with the planet. The asteroid in question is called 2018 VP1 and it’s expected to be in the vicinity of Earth in early November. Whether or not the asteroid may impact the Earth is unknown at this time.
What is known is that the asteroid is there, and it is headed in the direction of Earth. As the name of the asteroid suggests, it was discovered in 2018. Scientists tracking asteroid believe it could come as close as between 4700 miles and 260,000 miles of Earth. That is a vast range and could be considered a near-miss in the galactic scale.
Researchers say that the asteroid has only a one and 240 chance of entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Even if the asteroid does enter the Earth’s atmosphere, it will pose no threat. The asteroid is only about seven feet in diameter. If it enters our atmosphere, it would create an extremely bright meteor and then break up into tiny pieces.
Asteroid 2018 VP1 rates as a -3.57 on a logarithmic scale used by astronomers to rate potential hazards, scale values of less than -2 indicate an event that will have no likely consequences. Scale values between -2 and zero indicate situations requiring careful monitoring.
Small asteroids routinely enter the Earth’s atmosphere with the annual Perseid meteor shower wrapping up earlier this month. The biggest known threat of an asteroid impacting the Earth is a one measuring 4200 feet wide expected to fly by the planet in 861 years. Even that asteroid has a 99.988 percent chance of missing our planet.