Halloween asteroid to shave past Earth, astronomers say

October 21, 2015
NASA says the asteroid is expected to be the largest known cosmic body to get near our planet until 2027
NASA says the asteroid is expected to be the largest known cosmic body to get near our planet until 2027

A big asteroid is hurtling toward Earth and will shave past our planet on Halloween, but astronomers say there's no need to be spooked—it's definitely not on a collision course.

The space rock is about the size of a football stadium and is moving at an "unusually high" speed of 78,000 miles per hour (126,000 kilometers per hour), said NASA.

Early estimates put the asteroid—called 2015 TB145—at about 1,542 feet (470 meters) in diameter, according to the astronomy website Earth and Sky.

NASA expects it to be the largest known cosmic body to get near our planet until 2027.

"If the size is correct, the new found asteroid is 28 times bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteor that penetrated the atmosphere over Russia in February 2013," Earth and Sky said.

The good news is this asteroid will pass at a very safe distance of about 310,000 miles (nearly 500,000 kilometers), or 1.3 times the span between the Earth and the Moon.

The asteroid will actually pass closer to the Moon than the Earth, skimming by at a distance of 180,000 miles.

Astronomers may be able to spot it with telescopes, though amateur skywatchers will likely not be able to see it with the naked eye.

The time of the closest pass is 11:14 am US Eastern time (1514 GMT) on October 31.

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7 comments

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AGreatWhopper
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 21, 2015
Damn.
SuperThunder
3 / 5 (4) Oct 21, 2015
I want to ride it.
Scroofinator
not rated yet Oct 21, 2015
We need swarms of CubeSats or something similar out there to continuously search for NEOs, as if Chelyabinsk wasn't warning enough.
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2015
At "28 times bigger" and nearly twice as fast, the good people of Chelyabinsk are probably relieved to know this one won't be hitting anyone, at least this time around. We are wise to keep an eye on these things.
Scroofinator
not rated yet Oct 21, 2015
We are wise to keep an eye on these things

Very true, but why aren't we keeping two eyes on it?
antigoracle
3 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2015
So, I guess this one is a treat and I hope trick decided to skip this halloween.
RealScience
not rated yet Oct 21, 2015
At "28 times bigger" and nearly twice as fast, the good people of Chelyabinsk are probably relieved to know this one won't be hitting anyone, at least this time around. We are wise to keep an eye on these things.


And "28 times bigger" is 28 times the diameter, or about 20,000 time the volume.
If it is the same density, then at twice the speed it would be ~80,000 times the impact energy of Chelyabinsk.

A direct hit with something like that could ruin your whole day!

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