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.

Explore further: Asteroid to make close pass by Earth

Related Stories

Asteroid to make close pass by Earth

March 5, 2014

An asteroid the size of a football field is about to make a close pass by Earth but is not expected to hit or cause any damage, NASA said Wednesday.

Huge asteroid to whip past Earth on Monday

January 21, 2015

An asteroid up to 1,800 feet (550 meters) across is headed Earth's way. But don't worry: It will miss us by 745,000 miles, about three times the distance between Earth and the moon.

Football shaped asteroid observed by students at NAIC/NRAO

July 16, 2015

Images of the near-Earth asteroid 2015 HM10 were captured by students and researchers participating in the NAIC/NRAO 8th Single-Dish Radio Astronomy School as it passed by Earth on Wednesday, July 8. The asteroid, coincidentally ...

Massive asteroid with moon to pass Earth today

May 31, 2013

An asteroid nearly two miles (three kilometers) wide is set to pass by Earth Friday with no risk of impact, offering scientists a rare chance to study a massive flying object with its own moon.

Small asteroid to safely pass close to Earth Sunday

September 4, 2014

(Phys.org) —A small asteroid, designated 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to Earth on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. At the time of closest approach, based on current calculations to be about 2:18 p.m. EDT (11:18 a.m. PDT / ...

Recommended for you

Study details the history of Saturn's small inner moons

May 22, 2018

The small inner moons of Saturn look like giant ravioli and spaetzle. Their spectacular shape has been revealed by the Cassini spacecraft. For the first time, researchers of the University of Bern show how these moons were ...

Two bright high-redshift quasars discovered

May 21, 2018

Astronomers have detected two new bright quasars at a redshift of about 5.0. The newly found quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) are among the brightest high-redshift quasars known to date. The finding was presented May 9 in a paper ...

First interstellar immigrant discovered in the solar system

May 21, 2018

A new study has discovered the first known permanent immigrant to our Solar System. The asteroid, currently nestling in Jupiter's orbit, is the first known asteroid to have been captured from another star system. The work ...

7 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.