You might have heard every few months in the news that a new asteroid is probably going to impact Earth. Indeed there are thousands and thousands of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) floating around us in space. And while this idea might be alarming, I advise you not to panic just yet. Let us discuss one of these asteroids and if they pose a real danger to us on Earth. We’re going to talk about “Asteroid 2018VP1”.
Asteroid 2018 VP1 was first observed on November 3rd, 2018. It’s a small asteroid with a diameter ranging between 2 to 4 meters. Roughly the size of a car, it was classified under the “Apollo-class Asteroid”. This is a class of asteroids whose orbits cross Earth’s orbit.
“Asteroid 2018VP1” orbits the Sun once every 2 years, and it comes as close to the Sun as 0.91 astronomical unit (AU) and as far as 2.27 AU (The Astronomical Unit is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun.)
The next close approach of “Asteroid 2018 VP1” by Earth will be on November 2nd, 2020 with a velocity of 9.711 Kilometers/second! Different models have estimated the closest distance between the asteroid and Earth. The closest of these estimations is a distance that is as close as 419,130 kilometers from the Earth. To put this number in perspective, “Asteroid 2018 VP1” is farther out than the Moon which is only 384,400 kilometers away from Earth.
The impact risk of this next close approach is estimated at a probability of about 0.4%, even though this is a pretty low probability, you might want to stay on the lookout for this asteroid. You can monitor and track the distance of “Asteroid 2018 VP1” from Earth using this live 3D tracker.