Skull Asteroid Will Haunt Earth Again This Year!

Khryss | Published 2018-01-22 23:06

In October 31, 2015, a bizarre, skull-shaped asteroid passed Earth at a distance of 486,000 kilometers (302,000 miles)--that's actually just 1.3 times the distance of the Moon.

And since everybody was pumped with the Halloween, such view caught the attention of everyone. Now, it's about to come and visit us again. This November 2018, it's about to swing past our planet again. But this time, it'll give us a little more space, about 105 times further than the Moon to be exact.

An asteroid that bears a striking resemblance to a skull is set to pass Earth again next year, having last done so on Halloween in 2015.

"Although this approach shall not be so favourable, 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," Pablo Santos-Sanz from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) said in a statement.

Together with his colleagues, they were actually able look closely into the skull asteroid using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. With that, they were able to calculate its last pass's exact rotation period--2.94 hours. They were also able to know that it's a flattened ellipsoid which only reflected around 5 to 6 percent of incoming sunlight.

“This means that it is very dark, only slightly more reflective than charcoal," said Santos-Sanz.                

It's still uncertain though whether it's an extinct comet somewhat similar to the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua or not. So, we'd better wait for this year's Halloween to know.

http://www.iflscience.com/space/halloween-asteroid-set-to-swing-past-our-planet-again-in-2018/

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