Monday, November 2, 2015

NASA: a skull shaped comet flew past Earth on Halloween

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This is not a Halloween prank, this is what the comet that flew past Earth on October 31 actually looks like.

“The large space rock that will zip past Earth this Halloween is most likely a dead comet that, fittingly, bears an eerie resemblance to a skull", NASA wrote on its website.

"Scientists observing asteroid 2015 TB145 with NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, have determined that the celestial object is more than likely a dead comet that has shed its volatiles after numerous passes around the sun.

The belated comet has also been observed by optical and radar observatories around the world, providing even more data, including our first close-up views of its surface. Asteroid 2015 TB145 will safely fly by our planet at just under 1.3 lunar distances, or about 302,000 miles (486,000 kilometers), on Halloween (Oct. 31) at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT, 17:00 UTC)."




This animated GIF was generated using radar data collected by the National Science Foundation's 1,000-foot (305-meter) Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The six radar images used in the animation were taken on Oct. 30, 2015, and the image resolution is 25 feet (7.5 meters) per pixel.
Credits: NAIC-Arecibo/NSF

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