Asteroid 2015 TB145, dubbed by some outlets as the “death comet,” is set to fly by Earth on November 11. On October 31 in 2015 the space rock, symbolically named the “Great Pumpkin” by the National Astronomic Space Agency, had passed by Earth within 310,000 miles; this time the expected distance is 25 million miles.
This space “traveler” received much attention in 2015, when it was discovered with a telescope high atop a dormant Hawaiian volcano, due to its spooky skull-like shape.
Ironically enough, it also happened to be a so-called dead comet, which has just a rocky core, as it out-gassed all its volatile elements, for instance ice, and leaves no tail.
"We found that the object reflects about six percent of the light it receives from the sun. That is similar to fresh asphalt, and while here on Earth we think that is pretty dark, it is brighter than a typical comet which reflects only 3 to 5 percent of the light. That suggests it could be cometary in origin – but as there is no coma evident, the conclusion is it is a dead comet,” said Vishnu Reddy, a research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, according to NASA.
The scientists classified the asteroid, which has a measured diameter of about 600 meters, as potentially hazardous due its size and proximity to Earth. However, tracking 2015 TB145 has shown that there’s no danger of it hitting our planet. If such a collision were to occurre, the space rock could prompt an ocean wide and even bigger tsunami and destroy a moderately sized state.
After the November fly-by, the Great Pumpkin isn’t expected to come close to Earth for another 70 years.