NASA Says Large Asteroid Will Have "Near Miss" With Earth on Halloween
When the Halloween asteroid swings by Earth it will be like this one, only it'll be one and a half miles wide and moving at 78,000 mph.
Photo from NASA
On October 31, a 1.5-mile-wide asteroid will whip past Earth in a trajectory that's almost too close for comfort.
NASA officials say the asteroid will buzz by our planet in a "near miss" on Halloween. The space rock will be zipping past Earth while moving at about 78,000 mph and coming within 310,000 miles of the planet. (Keep in mind that the moon is about 239,000 miles away from Earth on average, so this large flying rock will be getting reasonably close.)
However, it's best not to get all fatalistic about the asteroid à la Deep Impact, and so far there's no indication that we need to call in Bruce Willis to take care of things the way he did in Armageddon. In fact, this asteroid in particular is pretty nifty because space buffs equipped with telescopes should be able to see it.
We know that getting ready for trick-or-treating will be a priority on Halloween and everything, but those with a yen to see an asteroid up close (relatively speaking) had best take advantage of this particular rock, dubbed 2015 TB145 by NASA, which should be visible from October 30 to the dawn of October 31.
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NASA officials say that we haven't had an asteroid of comparable size pass by our planet since 2006, and the next one isn't expected until 2027, when 1999 AN10 is expected to fly past the planet at less than one lunar distance. So those who get all giddy about asteroids had best enjoy this one while it swings by, because it will be awhile before we see another like it.
However, the really creepy part about all this is that NASA hasn't been going along and tracking this asteroid as it has zoomed on its "hazardous" course near Earth. (NASA calls any asteroid that comes within 4,600,000 miles of Earth "hazardous.") Nope, the asteroid was only spotted about three weeks ago, on October 10.