While the entire world was preparing for the Halloween celebration on Oct. 31, 2015, the Halloween asteroid made its closest approach to our home planet. Astronomers marvel at the visit made by a creepy-looking asteroid.
During that approach, the asteroid came about 300,000 miles from Earth. Scientists estimated this distance to be about 1.3 times the average distance between Earth and the Moon. Hence, the space rock did not pose a threat to Earthlings.
How Astronomers Spotted the Halloween Asteroid
Astronomers discovered the creepy-looking asteroid using the Pan-STARRS observatory in Hawaii. The Halloween asteroid was first spotted about three weeks before it made the close flyby. Astronomers behind this discovery named the creepy asteroid “2015 TB145.”
Despite spotting this asteroid three weeks before its flyby, no one knew exactly what it looked like until the day before Halloween. Astronomers got a clearer view of the Halloween asteroid using the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to capture its first radar images.
Why Scientists Identify the Creepy-Looking space rock as Halloween Asteroid
After the Arecibo Observatory revealed the actual physical look of the space rock, scientists across the world were fascinated as it came during the Halloween celebration. NASA named the asteroid the “Great Pumpkin.” However, other people decided to name it Halloween Asteroid because of its physical look which resembles a human skull.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the skull-shaped asteroid?
The skull-shaped asteroid is the space rock officially named 2015 TB145. NASA nicknamed it “the Great Pumpkin,” while others named it “the Halloween Asteroid.”
The weird-looking space rock got these nicknames because of its close resemblance to a human skull which is a great symbol of Halloween. It made its closest approach to Earth on October 31, 2015, which is the exact date for the Halloween celebration.
What is the weirdest-shaped asteroid?
The weirdest-shaped asteroid according to NASA is an interstellar space rock named ‘Oumuamua by those that discovered it. This weird-looking asteroid is about one-quarter mile (400 meters) long and highly elongated.
Scientists estimate it to be about 10 times as long as it is wide. Its aspect ratio is greater than every asteroid or comet ever spotted before in the solar system.
Halloween Asteroid: When was the last asteroid to hit Earth?
The last asteroid to hit Earth was the Chelyabinsk asteroid that slammed into Earth’s atmosphere on February 15, 2013. The asteroid struck traveling at about 70,000 kilometers per hour over Chelyabinsk Russia that same day, causing a huge impact on residents of this region.
On Oct. 31, 2015, Halloween asteroid made its closest approach to Earth. It was first spotted only three weeks before this flyby. Astronomers marvel at the discovery as the 2015 TB145 arrived during the Halloween celebration. What do you think about this creepy-looking asteroid?