NASA: Asteroid Set for Halloween Fly-By


Here’s an example why asteroids pose a major threat to Earth: NASA and Jet Propulsion Labs continue to monitor asteroid 2015 TB145. Scientists discovered the 1300-foot wide piece of space rock on Oct. 10, 2015. It’s due to buzz by our planet on Halloween.

One of the reasons the asteroid sneaked up on scientists could be its orbit. Scientists have observed its trajectory as coming from “below the orbital plain.” The asteroid is moving at over 79,000 mph!

“The asteroid’s orbit is very oblong with a high inclination to below the plane of the solar system,” said Benner. “Such a unique orbit, along with its high encounter velocity — about 35 kilometers or 22 miles per second — raises the question of whether it may be some type of comet. If so, then this would be the first time that the Goldstone radar has imaged a comet from such a close distance.”

Despite the recent discovery, astronomers claim there’s no chance of it impacting our planet.

“The trajectory of 2015 TB145 is well understood,” said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “At the point of closest approach, it will be no closer than about 300,000 miles — 480,000 kilometers or 1.3 lunar distances. Even though that is relatively close by celestial standards, it is expected to be fairly faint, so night-sky Earth observers would need at least a small telescope to view it.”

Scientists will use radar to track the object as it passes through our neighborhood.

Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.