Huge asteroid to fly past Earth on Halloween, poses no threat: NASA

NASA scientists are gearing up to track the flyby of the asteroid with several optical observatories and the radar capabilities of the agency's Deep Space Network at Goldstone, California.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2015, 17:15 PM IST
Huge asteroid to fly past Earth on Halloween, poses no threat: NASA
Photo credit: NASA

Washington: A giant asteroid named '2015 TB145' is set to fly past the Earth on Halloween, NASA has said.

However, NASA said the asteroid poses no thereat as it will fly past Earth at a safe distance slightly farther than the moon's orbit on October 31 at 10:05 a.m. PDT (1:05 p.m. EDT).

NASA scientists are gearing up to track the flyby of the asteroid with several optical observatories and the radar capabilities of the agency's Deep Space Network at Goldstone, California.

“The close approach of 2015 TB145 at about 1.3 times the distance of the moon's orbit, coupled with its size, suggests it will be one of the best asteroids for radar imaging we'll see for several years,” said Lance Benner, who leads NASA's asteroid radar research program at JPL.

Scientists believe the flyby presents a truly outstanding scientific opportunity to study the physical properties of this object.

According to NASA, this will be the biggest known object to pass so close to the Earth until 2027.

The asteroid is estimated to be between 300 to 600 meters in diameter and traveling at 78,000 miles an hour.

The gravitational influence of the asteroid is so small that it will have no detectable effect on the moon or anything here on Earth, including our planet's tides or tectonic plates, added NASA.

Asteroid 2015 TB145 was discovered on October 10, 2015, by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS-1 (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) on Haleakala, Maui, part of the NASA-funded Near-Earth Object Observation (NEOO) Program.

NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing within 30 million miles of Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes.