The asteroid named 2015 TB145 also called ‘Halloween Asteroid’ by NASA scientists will make a close encounter with Eath on October 31 at 10:05 a.m. PDT (1:05 p.m. EDT). However, there is nothing to worry as the 1,300-foot-wide (400-meter) asteroid will cross our planet at a safe distance of 300,000 miles (480,000 kilometers).
Commenting on the asteroid, NASA official said that they were astonished to see that an asteroid is going to zoom past Earth on October 31. However, scientists were unknown of any such activity and it literally came as a surprise when they discovered it on October 10. As of now, astronomers at NASA have kept a close eye and are monitoring every activity of the asteroid with help of multiple optical observatories including Deep Space Network at Goldstone, California.
Asteroid 2015 TB145 which is also being called as ‘Halloween Asteroid’ was discovered by the researchers with the help of Pan-STARRS-1 (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) at University of Hawaii. The asteroid will be a delight for stargazers as It is the largest object to fly past Earth until next asteroid 1999 AN10, estimated to 2,600 feet (800 meters) approaches our planet in 2027. 1999 AN10 will pass by Earth at a much closer distance of 238,000 miles.
The Halloween asteroid is moving in an oblong trajectory and it will be no closer than about 300,000 miles — 480,000 kilometers or 1.3 lunar distances, said an official. In addition, the asteroid is moving at a very high speed — nearly 22 miles or 35 kilometers per second. Since, the asteroid is very small in size, people can only get a faint glimpse that too with a telescope.
Moreover, scientists at NASA will constantly monitor the distance between the asteroid and Earth with the help of a 34-meter (110-foot) DSS 13 antenna at Goldstone. The antenna will send a radio wave to asteroid and the reflected wave be collected by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Green Bank Telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia, and the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center’s Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico. By measuring speed of the wave and time taken by the wave to reach back Earth, researchers will calculate the distance between Earth and asteroid.