Halloween is the celebration of spooks and frights. Goblins and hobgoblins of the mind, vampires and werewolves screaming in the dead of night. Trick-or-treat and candy delights. What more can you want from a celebration of darkness? It seems we were closer to meeting our maker than we ever imagined. A phantom asteroid screams past Earth, on the last day of October.
Yet again, we find ourselves in Fortune’s graces, because the big chunk or rock, travelling at over 22 miles per second, missed Earth by about 300000 miles. Although this is a big relief for us, scientists say that this is the closest encounter we had with an asteroid.
Still, the European Space Agency urged people to remain calm because there isn’t a remote chance that an asteroid could hit Earth in the next 100 years.
The frightening ghoul that passed over our heads, the last night of the year is about 20 times bigger than the one that hit Russia in 2013, breaking windows, throwing debris all around. More than 1000 people were injured in that even, but, fortunately, no one was killed in the incident. Scientists nicknamed it “The Great Pumpkin” (Jack, is that you?) or “Spooky”.
Actually, the real name of the asteroid is TB145, and according to recent research, this is not the only time, “Spooky” decided to drop by in the neighborhood. It seems that the scary fellow visited Earth in 1975, and its story was relayed by the Guardian. According to the initial measurements, the asteroid is 1.300 feet wide.
Lance Benner, a scientist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion laboratory said that, “Spooky” is just one asteroids that passes Earth, and we should expect some more in the nearby future.
Scientists Peter Jenniskens from SETI Institute and NASA, in collaborations with his French counterpart, Jeremie Vaubaillon, discovered a model that can be used to calculate Earth’s potential risk of being hit by asteroids in the nearby future.
Although the subsequent meteoroids would be visible only in Asia, scientists say that there will be a meteor shower next year.
Specialists explained that although an asteroids trajectory is somewhat predictable and can be closely observed through radio telescopes, there are some instances that can alter a meteor’s path.
A phantom asteroid screams past Earth and it is sure to make a few people scream. Scientists still urge us to remain calm because, like other object in the Universe, even an asteroid has its own timetable and must abide by it.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org