The famed scientist says this “refrigerator-sized” asteroid is hurling straight for us – and may arrive just in time for the 2020 Presidential Election.
Oh, 2020. How consistent you remain.
In an Instagram post made today, the scientist, author, and television host says this “refrigerator-sized space-rock” is heading directly for Earth. And what better time to crash an already dreadful year than early November.
This is, of course, when the 2020 Presidential Election will be held. While many will vote early, Election Day 2020 comes this November 3rd. The asteroid, however, may crash our party early with a Nov. 2nd arrival.
According to Tyson, the asteroid is known as Asteroid 2018VP1. The celestial object is “hurling towards us at more than 25,000 mi/hr,” the scientist states. In his post, though, he does offer a glimmer of hope:
“It may buzz-cut Earth on Nov. 2, the day before the Presidential Election. But it’s not big enough to cause harm,” he clarifies. “So if the world ends in 2020, it won’t be the fault of the universe.”
How fittingly poetic.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Announces Asteroid For 2020 Presidential Election
His original post comes with quite the visual aid, as well. The image shows both a massive, and tiny, asteroid passing straight by our home planet:
NASA also Pegs 2018VP1 for Electoral Arrival
In a report from earlier this year, Outsider.com’s Jacklyn Krol cites the space agencies’ identification of the asteroid.
“According to NASA’s press release, 2018VP1 is SUV-sized coming in at 10 to 20 feet. It broke the record for coming closer to earth than any other known NEA ( Near-Earth Asteroid Scout). It passed at “1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) above the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 12:08 a.m. EDT,” Krol reports.
“Although it is considered on an impact trajectory, it will most likely become a fireball once it reaches our atmosphere. Surprisingly, asteroids coming near Earth happens multiple times annually.”
Speaking to Business Insider, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory director, Paul Chodas, says finding the small celestial body is “quite an accomplishment”.
“It’s quite an accomplishment to find these tiny close-in asteroids in the first place, because they pass by so fast. There’s typically only a short window of a couple of days before or after close approach when this small of an asteroid is close enough to Earth to be bright enough but not so close that it moves too fast in the sky to be detected by a telescope,” the scientist adds.
Thankfully, Tyson goes the extra mile to reassure his 1.4 million followers – and the rest of us – that this asteroid will not, in fact, be smashing us all into oblivion this November.
Come the presidential election, however, we may wish it would.