This is kind of funny, until it isn’t.
Asteroid 2015 TB145 (which reminds me of LV-426 for some reason) was discovered uncoincidentally back in 2015, and its initial appearance made a lot of people’s “reasons to avoid the outside world” lists. The rock, which looks just like a giant human skull, showed up around 300,000 miles from Earth right on Halloween. This time around it’s going to be late for the occasion, and thankfully quite a bit farther away.
The asteroid, which has a peculiar oblong shape, was captured in an image by astronomers who first noted its skull-like appearance. It didn’t take long before the rock’s heavy metal look took on a life of its own, with some nicknaming it the “death comet,” and “death asteroid.”
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is one of a handful of organizations that keeps tabs on objects that come within notable distance of Earth, forecasts that 2015 TB145 will come within around 24 million miles of Earth this year, and it will do so on November 11th. After that, the “asteroid of death” will take a long hiatus from Earth, not appearing near our planet again until after 2080.
It would appear humanity is safe for now anyway, and “death comet” won’t threaten mankind for the foreseeable future. Even if it did impact Earth someday down the road it’s not a particularly large asteroid, only measuring between 600 and 700 meters wide. A true “planet-killer” like the rock that wiped out the dinosaurs would need to be around 14 to 15 times that size.
So, we should all sleep better tonight thinking about that.