An asteroid has been spotted on a collision course with Earth and is projected to come very close to the planet on November 2, according to the Center for Near Objects Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
According to NASA data, based on 21 observations conducted over 12.968 days, there could be three potential impacts. However, the space agency has found that there is only a 0.41% chance that the celestial body will enter the Earth’s atmosphere, CNN reported.
The asteroid, dubbed 2018VP, was first discovered at the Palomar Observatory in California’s San Diego County two years ago. A 13-day observational arc followed, after which the asteroid was not detected again.
The celestial body, measuring merely 6.5 feet (or 0.002 km) in diameter, is predicted to come closer to the Earth than its many orbiting telecommunications satellites and the moon, but is likely to whizz by largely unhindered, Forbes reported.
According to NASA’s close approach database, the ateroid’s distance from Earth could be anywhere between 4,700 miles and 260,000 miles. On the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale, which is used by astronomers to assess the impact risk posed by an asteroid, 2018VP is pegged at a low -3.57.
According to a study published in the journal Science in 2019, the Earth and moon have faced more than twice as many asteroid collisions in the last 290 million years, than in the previous 700 million years.