‘Skull-Shaped’ Asteroid Will Pass Earth around Halloween

October 17, 2018

On November the 7th, asteroid 2015 TB145 will be closest to Earth, at a distance of 40 million kilometres.

With two craters that give the asteroid the appearance of a skull, it’s been dubbed the “Halloween Asteroid”.

While the creepy-looking asteroid has an ominous appearance, there’s little threat of it colliding with us, according to the European Space Agency.

Avid astronomers and lovers of all things spooky will be excited this year to hear that the return of asteroid “2015 TB145” is due just after Halloween.

On November 7 the asteroid will be closest to Earth, at a distance of 40 million kilometres.

According to NASA, the dead comet was first discovered in Hawaii on 31 October, 2015, there is nothing particularly unusual about the asteroid apart from its two surface craters that give it the appearance of a skull. Therefore it’s been unofficially named the “Halloween Asteroid”.

Below you can see an animation generated using radar data from the National Science Foundation’s Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Though it passed Earth three years ago at a distance of about 500,000 kilometres, it isn’t actually a danger to us. It isn’t listed among the European Space Agency’s list of potentially risky asteroids and so it’s unlikely to collide with Earth in the next 500 years.

Due to its considerable distance from us, it can also only be seen from Earth as a moving point in the sky. Sven Melchert, chairman of Germany’s amateur astronomers association, explained to the Welt that the skull-like appearance of the asteroid looks is only a result of reconstructed radar observations.

Read More

0 comment