Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Spooky Halloween

As we all know, Halloween is approaching. It's a night of scary fun. But something even more scary than witches and goblins (or even democrats in power) is also happening that night.

'Spooky' the asteroid due to give Earth a Halloween fright
A Halloween asteroid is due to scream past the Earth on the last day of the month, missing the planet by just 300,000 miles – frighteningly close by astronomical standards.

The asteroid, nicknamed “the Great Pumpkin” and “Spooky” but technically known as TB145, is an estimated 1,300ft wide – 20 times bigger than the meteorite that tore across the Russian sky and exploded over Chelyabinsk in 2013, shattering windows with shock waves and debris that injured more than a thousand people.
Perhaps the scariest aspect of Spooky is that is went undiscovered until only two weeks ago.
TB145 was spotted by astronomers in Hawaii on 10 October. It is due to fly past Earth at around 5pm UK time, on 31 October.
How on earth can something that big sneak up on us? After all, it's not like the obamacare disaster. Any thinking person could see that coming.
Dr Detlef Koschny, who heads the agency’s NEO tracking team said asteroid emphasised the need for vigilance: “The fact that such a large near-Earth object, capable of doing significant damage if it were to strike our planet, was discovered only 21 days before closest approach demonstrates the necessity for keeping daily watch of the night sky.”
There is some good news, sort of...
...scientists say there is no need to be scared, even on Halloween. The space rock, travelling at around 22 miles per second, will remain further away than the moon.

There is no chance of the asteroid hitting the Earth for the next 100 years at least...
More Spooky info can be found here.

Enjoy your Halloween...


Old NFO said...

Even more scary is they just now found it... What happens if/when one does impact us... How much or how little warning will there be, and how much panic? THAT is scary!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Cartoon. Never let a crisis go to waste

CenTexTim said...

NFO - from the link in the story:

Had the asteroid been on a collision course with Earth, three-weeks’ notice “would have been too late to do anything about it”, Chodas told Popular Science.

“An asteroid of this size is really difficult to deflect with only 20 days’ warning,” he said.

A medium-sized chunk of rock and ice like TB145 could cause a catastrophe on Earth – “continental-scale devastation”, in Chodas’ words – if not quite a global disaster on the scale of the six-mile-wide asteroid that is blamed for the death of the dinosaurs.

WSF - very good!