What happened to that Election Day asteroid?

2018 VP1 likely passed Earth already

Artist's concept of a near-Earth object. from NASA/JPL-Caltech. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In August, scientists alerted us to the fact that a flying space object was heading directly towards Earth, with a potential impact with the planet on Election Day.

To be clear, the asteroid, 2018 VP1, is only 7-feet in diameter and it had a one in 250 chance of actually making it to Earth.

Even if it did make it to Earth, it likely wouldn’t survive, intact, all the way to impact. According to Michael Narlock, the head of astronomy at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, it would likely break apart and turn into a bolide. We had one of those back in January 2018.

The 2018 bolide in Michigan actually registered as an earthquake of sorts, and may have been responsible for a fire in Wayne County. But it didn’t cause any major damage.

So anyway, it’s Election Day -- where is the asteroid?

It appears the asteroid flew by Earth, survived and continued on.

Planetary astronomer Michael Busch tweeted an update on Monday on 2018 VP1, reporting “There was apparently nothing on the infrasound and atmospheric flash monitors today.”

“2018 VP1 has, as expected, flown past Earth,” Busch said.

There’s also no report of a bolide anywhere, so 2018 VP1 is probably just hurtling through space, all alone. Watch out, Venus!


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