Small asteroid could hit Earth a day before US presidential poll: NASA: The Tribune India

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New Delhi, August 23

In another surprise from 2020, data from NASA predicted that a small asteroid heading towards Earth has a 0.41% chance of hitting the planet one day before the US presidential election scheduled for November 3.

NASA scientists have predicted that the 0.002 km (about 6.5 feet) diameter asteroid “2018VP1” will pass near Earth one day before the 2020 US election, CNN reports.

It was first identified at the Palomar Observatory in California in 2018.

NASA says there are three potential impacts.

But “based on 21 observations spanning 12,968 days,” the US space agency has determined that the asteroid is unlikely to have a deep impact.

Previously, a car-sized asteroid hovered over our home planet over the past weekend, in the closest flyby of these recorded space rocks and scientists had virtually no information on it until his departure.

The asteroid passed 2,950 kilometers over the southern Indian Ocean at 12:08 a.m. EDT (11:38 p.m. Indian time) on Sunday, NASA said.

The vast majority of near-Earth asteroids, or NEAs, pass safely at much greater distances, usually much further than the Moon.

The first image of this record-breaking space rock, asteroid 2020 HQ, was taken by a NASA-funded facility six hours after the nearest approach point as the asteroid moved away from Earth.

The SUV-sized asteroid was discovered by two IIT-Bombay students from Pune and Haryana.

The students are Kunal Deshmukh and Kritti Sharma – working on a research project to hunt near-Earth asteroids – who discovered the celestial object hours later using data from the robotic Zwicky Transient Facility, (ZTF), California. – IANS



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