Scary Asteroid to Narrowly Miss Earth on Halloween

By
Image
Boo!

An asteroid, nicknamed "Spooky," that is the size of a stadium will pass within 310,000 miles of Earth on October 31 — which counts as a near miss in space terms. But there’s no reason to be scared.

The 2015 TB145 asteroid is estimated to be between 300 and 600 meters wide and hurtling through space at 78,000 mph.

If the asteroid’s trajectory were slightly different, it could have given humanity quite a horror show. As CNN notes, the meteorite that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013 was a mere 20 meters wide.

NASA scientists only became aware of “Spooky” three weeks ago, which would have left precious little time for Bruce Willis to blow it up.

But instead of playing a terrifying trick on humans, the 2015 TB145 will offer stargazers a rare treat.

At its closest, the asteroid will be nearly the same distance from Earth as the moon, allowing astronomers "a truly outstanding scientific opportunity to study the physical properties of this object," according to a Jet Propulsion Laboratory Report. No known asteroid of its size is expected to pass so close to Earth until August 2027.

While the asteroid may be tough to locate for a civilian, even the astronomically inept can track the 2015 TB145 online, thanks to the Slooh Community Observatory, which will air a webcast of the asteroid featuring time-lapse views of the space rock.