If anyone ever wanted to dress up as Bruce Willis in Armageddon, this will be the time to do it, as a huge asteroid will shoot past and narrowly miss Earth on Halloween this year.
- The asteroid 2015 TB145 is 920 to 2,000 feet in diameter, travelling at 78,830 mph
- It will pass by at 1.3 lunar distances from Earth, which is around 297,000 miles away
- It’s the closest asteroid that passed by our planet since a 2006 asteroid that approached at 1.1 lunar distances
- The next near encounter will be in 2027, at 1.0 lunar distances
The timing might cause several jokes and odd references during the holiday on October 31st. However, it’s hard not to find humor in the circumstances, and this is obviously after the confirmation that the asteroid will pose as no threat to our planet. In fact, NASA confirmed that it will miss Earth, and come as no danger to it or its population.
The asteroid dubbed 2015 TB145, was discovered relatively late by astronomers with the Pan-STARRS telescope. In spite of their careful monitoring of potential threats hurling through space, this particular rock was found on October 10th, which is less than two weeks before it approaches our planet.
According to NASA, this is because the asteroid has an “eccentric and high-inclination orbit”, that sent it flying unexpectedly toward Earth. It’s unusual in more than just way, including its trajectory, and high speed. The space object measures at 920 to 2,000 feet (280 to 620 meters) in diameter, which is roughly the size of one or two skyscrapers. It’s rather big in terms of asteroids.
The 2015 TB145 is also travelling at speeds that are “unusually high”, clocking in at 78,830 miles per hour (12,600 kilometers per hour), which means it will essentially zoom past Earth. While the news itself could’ve caused a few extra frights on the evening of Halloween, it has been repeatedly assured that it will not harm our planet. But it will be relatively close.
According to NASA, the approaching asteroid will fly by at 1.3 lunar distances, or approximately 297,000 miles (479,000 kilometers) away. This has led the space agency to labeling the speedy and vast rock as “potentially hazardous”, but definitely denied its possible impact. Its erratic and formerly unpredictable pattern has been successfully figured out.
However, while it’s virtually harmless, it will be the closest object to shoot by our planet since 2006’s NEO 2004 XP14 approached at 1.1 lunar distances. And, for a while, this particular asteroid will be the nearest encounter we will meet. In fact, the next close asteroid will be seen in August 2027 by NEO 1999 AN10, which will pass at 1.0 lunar distances.
NASA has thousands of asteroids closely monitored, along with their potential threats to Earth. Their impact degree is stated across the Torino Impact Hazard scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being an object that “merits careful monitoring”. Everyone should be pleased and relieved to know that all the thousands of asteroids now remain at a clear and solid 0 on that scale.
The 2015 TB145 will not be visible to the naked eye, so turning your gaze to the skies on Halloween will not offer a stunning sight unfortunately. However, astronomers and space enthusiasts could glance at it with the use of a telescope.