Asteroid 2015 TB145 that Appears Like a Human Skull Will Return in 2018

[Image: Pixabay]

The asteroid 2015 TB145, which appears like a human skull, will approach the Earth in 2018. This asteroid was discovered on October 10, 2015 by the Hawaii Pan-STARRS 1 Telescope. The last time this asteroid approached the Earth was in 2015, and at that time, it was called the “Halloween Asteroid”.

2015 TB145 resembles like a human skull. It measures between 625 meter and 700 meters and has a rotation speed of 2.94 hours.  Its shape is a “slightly flattened ellipsoid.” According to the scientist, this asteroid reflects about 6% of the sunlight, and therefore appears very dark.

Scientists describe 2015 TB145 as a potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid. On October 31, 2015, its distance from the Earth was about 490,000 km—nearly 1.27 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

The asteroid will approach the Earth again in 2018, although it will be at a distance of 105 times the average lunar distance at that time, much farther away than in the previous encounter.

“Although this approach shall not be so favorable, we will be able to obtain new data which could help improve our knowledge of this mass and other similar masses that come close to our planet,” Santos-Sanz of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia Pablo told Phys.org.

Scientists believe that TB145 2015 is a dead comet. An asteroid is usually made of rock or metal. A comet, on the other hand, is a structure of ice and rock, but over a period of time, the ice evaporates from the comet.

2015 TB145 is also expected to pay Earth a visit again in 2088, and at that time its distance from Earth would be roughly 20 lunar distances.

The findings of the study were published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics in February.