Still looking for a Halloween costume this year? What about getting a few of your friends together and going as the crew from Armageddon? You’ll not only solve that costume problem of yours, but you might even be prepared if called into action to save the planet, because a big ole asteroid is going to speed past earth on Halloween and we just might need you.
Discovered just this month on October 10th, asteroid 2015 TB145—measuring between 920 and 2,034 feet in diameter—will come within 310,000 miles of our little planet. And while technically that isn’t even as close as the moon, cosmically speaking, it’s a haircut. That’s why NASA has labeled it as a hazardous object, even though they say it isn’t going to hit us.
According to NASA, this asteroid is traveling at a very high speed (unlike all those old asteroids that drive by us in the right lane with their hazard lights on). This one will be going nearly 22 miles per second, and that—combined with its “eccentric and high-inclination orbit”—is why it was only recently spotted. (Which is, um, like, terrifying, right? Like, that last sentence scares the crap out of me. Are we always just two weeks away from becoming the dinosaurs? We didn’t even get our flying cars yet. I still haven’t seen The Martian.)
This is the closest any object has come to hitting us since 2006, and another isn’t expected to be this close until 2027. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere might be able to spot it with a telescope if the sky is clear, so I’m just going to go as Galileo for Halloween so I can carry one around all night without being a weirdo.
What’s the most appropriate asteroid-related costume you can think of for Halloween this year? Let us know in the comments.
Image: The Weather Channel