According to The Center for Near-Earth Objects Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an asteroid will be flying very close to the earth on November 2nd. The asteroid was first discovered in 2018, from Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, followed by a 13-day observation arc, but it has not been detected since.
Ironically enough, the asteroid is passing by the day before election day in the United States.
It is estimated that the asteroid will likely come as close as between 4,700 miles and 260,000 miles of Earth. Luckily there is a very small chance that the asteroid will enter the earth’s atmosphere. Experts estimate that the chances are about 1 in 240 (0.41%), Furthermore, even if the asteroid is to enter the earth’s atmosphere, it is so small that it would break into even smaller pieces and not pose much of a threat.
These types of objects come close to our orbit more often than people believe. In fact, space is filled with asteroids and similar objects, and they pass by us on a routine basis. There are even many asteroids that do enter our atmosphere but either disintegrate before they hit the ground, or are so small that they don’t do any serious damage.
Well, 2020 keeps getting better all the time. An asteroid is projected to zoom close to Earth on November 2, the day before the presidential election. https://t.co/VsuWGATA42
— CNN (@CNN) August 22, 2020
Astronomers estimate that they are currently tracking nearly 2,000 asteroids, comets, and other objects that may threaten Earth, and new ones are found every single day.
Millions of asteroids exist, many the shattered remnants of planetesimals, bodies within the young Sun’s solar nebula that never grew large enough to become planets.
In June 2018, the US National Science and Technology Council warned that America is unprepared for an asteroid impact event, and has developed and released the “National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy Action Plan” to better prepare.
NASA’s has collected data on some of the biggest asteroids that have come close to Earth over the last 120 years in its near Earth object close approach database.
The biggest in the database is 3122 Florence, which estimated to be between 4km and 9km. Florence passed Earth on September 1, 2017, and is expected to pass by again on September 2, 2057.