Asteroid to flyby Earth on Halloween

Posted at 3:13 PM, Oct 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-30 20:24:30-04

Asteroid 2015 TB145 will make a close approach to Earth on Halloween, but will not pose a threat to the planet, NASA announced Tuesday.

The object, which NASA estimates is roughly three football fields in diameter, will whiz by Earth at a blistering 35 kilometers per second.

The 320-meter in diameter 2015 TB145 asteroid is bigger than the meteoroid that exploded over the skies of Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. The 17-20 meter wide asteroid that exploded over the skies of Russia emitted the same energy as 440 kilotons of TNT, according to NASA.

The explosion from the 2013 asteroid caused damage to thousands of buildings near Chelyabinsk.

The 2015 TB145 asteroid will pass by the planet by roughly 300,000 miles, and be at its closest point to Earth on Oct. 31 at 3:18 p.m. Eastern time. By comparison, the Moon is 240,000 miles from Earth.

The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System discovered the 2015 TB145 on Oct. 10.

The asteroid will mark the closet approach by a known celestial body of its kind until August 2027.

“The flyby presents a truly outstanding scientific opportunity to study the physical properties of this object,” NASA said in a release.

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs.