Science

Skull-Shaped Asteroid, Known as 'Death Comet,' Will Fly Near Earth After Halloween

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The seemingly skull-shaped asteroid known as “the Great Pumpkin” will return for another flyby.

NBC News reports that the body, officially named “asteroid 2015 TB145,” will pass near Earth in November, shortly after Halloween. The asteroid was spotted at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on Oct. 31, 2015, and was immediately noted for its spooky appearance. As you can see in the image below, the asteroid looks a lot like a human skull in certain lighting, so much so that it has also been dubbed the “death comet.”

“I don’t know why it’s called a ‘death comet,’” Vishnu Reddy, a professor of planetary sciences at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, told NBC News. “There is no scientific basis for such a term. Maybe it is related to the time of the flyby.”

Yeah, or the fact that it resembles a common symbol for mortality and death. But despite its eerie look and ominous nickname, experts insist that there’s no chance of the asteroid hitting earth. Cue the collective sigh of relief. 

The rock, which is measured between 2,050 feet and 2,297 feet, is expected to revisit our planet in 70 years, flying 5.4 million miles near Earth.

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