NASA Has Discovered An Enormous Asteroid Rapidly Approaching Earth On Halloween Night
When you think about the solar system, images of planets, big and small, slowly working their way around the sun probably come to mind. It seems like a pretty peaceful place, but the solar system is actually quite chaotic. There are some 10,000 near earth objects, or NEOs, in our solar system, and we've only cataloged about 10% of them. There are 3,300 NEOs that are greater than 1 km in size. An object that size would wipe humanity out completely.
On October 31st, an asteroid named 2015 TB145 will fly uncomfortably close to the Earth, passing at a distance of about 1.3 lunar distances, or slightly further than the distance between the Earth and the moon. No known object will fly this close again until August of 2027, when NEO 1999 AN10 is expected to fly within 1 lunar distance.
NASA scientists aren't entirely sure of the official trajectory of 2015 TB145, as it has an extremely erratic orbit around the sun. It's also moving exceptionally fast at a rate of 78,000 mph, or 21 miles per second. The asteroid is about as wide as a skyscraper is tall, about 600 meters across.The asteroid will not be observable with the naked eye, but astronomers with telescopes in the Northern hemisphere will have a good look at it.
To me, it's absolutely insane that with all the needed technology to stop a humanity-threatening NEO, we have no plans in place to do so. We'd be the laughing stock of the galaxy if we went extinct because we didn't think NEOs were an actual threat to us. It's high time we have some kind of defense mechanism against these objects, don't you think?