2020 has been a year full of twists, turns and more twists that have left people ragged and exhausted. The coronavirus pandemic has been the biggest story of the year to this point. It touches almost every part of life around the globe and pulls back the curtain on certain unsavory elements in daily life. The United States' response and death toll reflect that reality.
We've also seen giant killer hornets allegedly "invade" the United States, wildfires across California, a pair of hurricanes heading for the Gulf Coast, and now an asteroid preparing to pass by on Election Day.
While the chance of the rock hitting the Earth is 0.41 percent and it is far smaller than the Empire State Building-sized rock that passed by months ago, it still fits that Election Day would be the "end" of existence as we know it. The 6.5 foot asteroid was first observed in November 2018, named 2018 VP1, and it could hit on Nov. 2, according to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, part of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab.
The luck is the damage from any strike wouldn't be a complete disaster. According to WHIO, the asteroid will likely come as close to between 4,700 miles and 260,000 miles. And if it does manage to get into the atmosphere, it would likely burn up bright and break into pieces. The logarithmic scale rates any potential hazard with objects observed by astronomers. This specific rock is at -3.57, according to WHIO.
"Actual scale values less than -2 reflect events for which there are no likely consequences, while Palermo Scale values between -2 and 0 indicate situations that merit careful monitoring.," WHIO reports.
According to WHIO, asteroids only hit Earth around every million years and there are currently "no pending major threats" listed on NASA's big space rock listing. The most significant risk is reportedly a 4,200-foot wide asteroid that will fly very close to the planet in 850 years. That's a 99.988 percent chance the asteroid will miss, to give some perspective.
This rock is also far smaller on all accounts, so it's a fun headline. All we're missing for 2020 is an alien invasion or at least first contact. Hopefully, it'll be more like Star Trek than V: Final Battle.