Earth residents – watch out. Or should I say, watch up!
Not that you’ll “see” much, however, you can ponder!
Go to this ABC news link to read more detail and to see a link of the very cool NASA animation of its approach.
When you look at this link, ponder the asteroid’s trajectory, ponder “what ifs” like, what if it was closer to Earth than the Moon, and ponder how recently it was discovered!
The “Halloween” asteroid will pass closest to Earth (central Australia time) about 3:30 am on Sunday 1 November 2015. Yes, it was named after Halloween, as it passes during the USA time zone still on 31 October, at 10:00 am PDT. Not so spooky though for us in Australia.
We shall call it by its technical name, Asteroid 2015 TB145.
It’s coming in close to Earth at around 480,000 kilometres during its Earth fly-by.
Let’s put this distance in perspective.
The Moon is about 380,000 kilometres away from Earth.
The closest star, our Sun, is 150,000,000 km away. So 2015 TB145 will fly by somewhere in between, closer to the Moon than Earth.
This asteroid is about 470m wide so it’s not so small by asteroid standards. Thank you to the University of Hawaii for discovering this near Earth object on 10 October 2015, part of a NASA program. Thank you NASA for looking for these things.
Image: NAIC-Arecibo/NSF Animation of TB145 – the Halloween asteroid. See the animation and more detail about how it was made at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20041.