PASADENA, Calif., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Asteroid 2015 TB145 was only just discovered. According to a recent NASA report, the space rock is preparing to make its most intimate approach with Earth just in time for Halloween.
The asteroid will make its flyby overnight on October 30, passing within 310,000 miles of the Earth, or 1.3 times the Earth-moon distance, at its closest approach on October 31, at 11:14 a.m. EST. The Halloween morning flyby will see 2015 TB145 pass within 180,000 miles of the moon.
An approach of 1.3 lunar distances may sound close, but it's considered a safe flyby. Regardless, the rock's auspicious timing has news outlets calling it a "spooky asteroid." Spooky measures somewhere between 950 feet and 2,130 feet in diameter.
As far as NASA knows, however, there are no truly alarming near-Earth objects.
"Again, there is no existing evidence that an asteroid or any other celestial object is on a trajectory that will impact Earth," Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement released this summer. "In fact, not a single one of the known objects has any credible chance of hitting our planet over the next century."
Then again, astronomers didn't know about 2015 TB145 until just a little more than a week ago.
The asteroid was spotted on October 10 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS), funded by the U.S. Air Force and operated by astronomers at the University of Hawaii.
For amateur astronomers hoping to catch a glimpse of the asteroid, the best viewing time will likely be during the wee hours of Halloween morning. At an approximate magnitude of 10, 2015 TB145 will be too faint to see with the naked eye. A telescope is required.
The space rock will be traveling at a speed of 78,000 miles per hour, but from Earth, its pace will appear rather slow as it moves across the constellation Orion.