An asteroid that made quite a stir on Halloween in 2015 will be coming by for another visit next year, scientists say.
A creepy asteroid that appears to be in the shape of a skull created a lot of chatter back in 2015 when it suddenly appeared in our skies on Oct. 31, just in time for Halloween. And now, scientists think it’s coming back for another visit in 2018, although it won’t be here in time for Halloween this time around.
According to the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in Spain, asteroid 2015 TB145 will be visible again, this time in mid-November of 2018, a few weeks after Halloween. And it will probably return in 2021, a bit later in the year once again, as it takes about 3.04 years to make its journey around the sun.
The asteroid came pretty close to Earth when it zoomed by in 2015, coming about 300,000 miles from Earth, or a little bit farther than the moon is. The asteroid will probably be a lot more distant this time around, at about 105 Earth-moon distances.
“It is an Apollo-type near-Earth asteroid (NEA),” researcher Pablo Santos-Sanz said in a statement. “The proximity of this small object meant greater brightness, so we decided to study it using various observation techniques: on the one hand, we used optical telescopes from the Sierra Nevada Observatory in Granada, the Calar Alto Observatory in Almería and the La Hita Observatory in Toledo; and on the other, we analysed it in the mid-infrared using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) VISIR instrument at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Cerro Paranal, Chile”.