Space

Skull-faced asteroid to ‘Near Miss’ Earth with smallest distance

The Ghostly Skull-Shaped asteroid approaching Earth next year

A scary, skull-shaped asteroid, which passed by on Halloween 2015, is to approach our planet again. Yes, a human skull-shaped asteroid is going to give its closest visit to earth in the upcoming year. According to reports, the asteroid 2015 TB145 was last seen in 2015, and such a thrilling encounter will not be witnessed shortly until 2088.

In mid-October 2015, a group of scientists using the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii spotted a mysterious asteroid that had an eerie resemblance to a human skull when seen in the right lighting. The overall shape and features ‘eyes’ and ‘nose’ of the asteroid looked similar to the human skull, which is kind of scary. This mysterious asteroid measures between 625 and 700 meters that crosses space, using the Pan-STARRS telescope. A few weeks later, on Halloween night, the asteroid was spotted flying across Earth in its closest proximity, only 486,000 km away, or about 1.3 times the distance to the moon.

Astronomers around the world, including NASA, worked to discern the characteristics of the asteroid during its approach in 2015. The investigators from Europe, including the researcher Pablo Santos-Sanz from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, prepared the watching campaigns of the skull-shaped asteroid to learn more about it. He issued his conclusions in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The scientists are hoping to get more data about 2015 TB145 as it rushes through our solar system again in November 2018. However, it is worth calculating that the asteroid will pass at a further distance from our planet than the last time. The experts think that the Halloween asteroid could, in fact, be a lost comet that lost its volatile compounds after orbiting the sun various times. Although asteroids have a metallic rocky composition and comets have a more significant proportion of ice and rock, it is sometimes hard to identify them with certainty. Both of their orbits are also of different types.

Following the considerations of the asteroid flying by in November 2018, the cosmologists are planning to collect more data for the study. As per the scientists, they are still studying about this weird asteroid, and maybe this time they will discover that this asteroid is whether cause any impacts or not. After this, the skull-shaped asteroid will appear in 2088, zooming past Earth by 20 lunar distances.

About the author

Saloni Sharma

Saloni Sharma is an environmental activist with broad, deep experience in print and online writing, publication and site management, news coverage, and editorial team management.

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