According to current NASA data, there's a chance that a celestial immigrant dubbed Asteroid 2018VP1 will try to illegally cross our planetary border on or around Nov. 2, 2020 — the day before the next US election.
The good news — or the bad news, depending on how apocalyptic you're feeling — is that this ominous portent probably won't hit the Earth. As Forbes explains:
[T]here is still very high uncertainty around how close this space rock will actually get to our planet. According to NASA's close approach database, it's expected to come as close as 4,700 miles or maybe more like 260,000 miles. That's quite the range.
On the Palermo Scale that scientists use to rank impact risk, it's about a -3, which means it's not worthy of serious concern. On the Torino Scale, which is a different scale that's meant to convey the actual risk of danger by taking into account additional factors like the size of the asteroid, it doesn't even register.
And even if Asteroid 2018VP1 overcomes those 1 in 240 (0.41%) odds and makes its way into the atmosphere, it would likely crumble and dissipate just as quickly as it arrived, because it's only about seven feet wide. Still, it's probably just as likely that Trump sends the Space Force after it anyway, claiming victory against foreign invaders just in time for the election.
Asteroid predicted to pass close to Earth the day before the presidential election [Cox Media Group National Content Desk / WHIO-TV 7]
No, These Asteroids Are Not Predicted To Collide With Earth This Year [Eric Mack / Forbes]
Image: Public Domain via Space Force