Saturday, October 24, 2015

‘Spooky’ asteroid to zoom past Earth at 78000 miles per hour on Halloween !

Consider that our moon averages about 240,000 miles away at any given moment.
There will be about 300,000 miles between the asteroid and Earth when it passes, so there’s no real worry of a collision. The last approach closer than this by an object this size was by 2004 XP14 in July 2006 at 1.1 lunar distances.
“The flyby presents a truly outstanding scientific opportunity to study the physical properties of this object”, NASA officials wrote.
According to NASA, an asteroid is expected to pass incredibly close to Earth on Halloween, marking the closest approach since 2006.
NASA has announced that an asteroid will be taking a spin past our planet on October 31, 2015.
The next closest encounter by an object as large as the Halloween asteroid won’t be until August 2027, according to NASA. A “near-Earth asteroid” is, of course, the hair-raising variety of asteroids that come close enough to us to fly safely by…rather than crashing and causing catastrophic damage.
The orbit of 2015 TB145 hints that it may be “cometary in nature”, NASA says.
For amateur astronomers hoping to catch a glimpse of the asteroid, the best viewing time will likely be during the wee hours of Halloween morning.
During the flyby, the asteroid will reach a magnitude luminosity of 10, so it should be observable to astronomers with telescopes, particularly those situated in the Northern Hemisphere.
Of the near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) cataloged at that time, 1999 AN10 was the next in line, Farnocchia said.
Farnocchia contended the new space rock was “not really” a surprise.
It will move toward Orion constellation on the nighttime of Oct. 30 to 31, with its nearest approach of 1.3 lunar distances to our planet happening at around 11:14 a.m. ET on Oct. 31.
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