Asteroid 2015 TB145 Will Haunt Earth Again



Asteroid 2015 TB145, nicknamed the Halloween Asteroid, created a buzz in 2015. The object is a flattened ellipsoid. Its creepy appearance resembles a human skull measuring 625 and 700 meters wide. At its closest proximity, its rotation axis was roughly perpendicular to the Earth. Its thermal inertia is consistent with other space rocks of similar size. People have not seen this object before, given its size, because its orbital period is 3 years, 25 days, and 13 hours.

The first time, in 100 years, the asteroid came close to Earth was 2015. Researchers have announced that the object will haunt Earth again. It zipped past the planet by about 486,000 kilometers (302,000 miles) in October 2015. Asteroid 2015 TB145’s orbital period is 1,112 days. Its next flyby is a little more than three years away, but a little later than the previous one. In 2018, it will return a few weeks after Halloween. Its distance will be about 105 times the distance between the Moon and Earth.

People Are Fearing the Worst When Halloween Asteroid Will Haunt Earth Again

The radar images of 2015 TB145 were first generated by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s 305-meter Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. It has a rotation of around 5 hours and a 35 kilometer per second velocity.

NASA is monitoring the object after it had a near miss couple of years ago. They formed a team to protect Earth from deadly objects like this. They crafted a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) to prepare emergency response plans and work with disaster relief agencies known as NEOs (Near Earth Objects).

Some people feared the worst when the object passed Earth at 78,000 mph. People worry that if it hit the surface of the earth, the cataclysmic changes could be disastrous. Many theories support that the fireball could cause earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter scale. Temperatures would rise. Tsunamis are their biggest concern. Then again, many believe that it will not hit the Earth’s surface.

In the past, dozens of asteroids were classified as dangerous. But, according to NASA, the most dangerous asteroids are rare. And, there is no possibility that 2015 TB145 will collide with the planet. It will break up in the atmosphere and lose its energy.

2015 TB145 Will be Much Farther When it Returns

The flyby represents an outstanding opportunity for astronomers to gather more information about 2015 TB145. They have plenty of time to study its characteristics and physical properties. The space rock is still 3.7 times the distance between Earth and the Sun.

It will take another seven decades for Asteroid 2015 TB145 to live up to its name.  According to researchers, it will approach Earth in 2088. By then, it will be 20 times the distance from the Earth to the moon away from Earth.

Asteroid 2015 TB145 was by far the biggest object to pass close to the Earth for another 500 years. NASA says it is now a dead rock flying through space after orbiting the sun many times. Should people be afraid of 2015 TB145 flyby? There is the concern that the Halloween Asteroid will haunt Earth again.

By Janet Grace Ortigas
Edited by Jeanette Smith

Sources: Earth Faces an Increased Risk of Being Hit by Asteroid
CNN: Asteroid Earth Halloween Feature
Daily Star: Asteroid 2015 TB145

Featured Image Courtesy of Baltasar Vischi’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Juan Manuel Fluxà’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


Send Us A Message