This peculiar skull-shaped rock approached Earth's orbit on October 31, 2015 at a distance of only 499 thousand kilometers, and a speed of 125,500 kilometers per hour attracted the attention of scientists and, of course, astronomy enthusiasts for their appearance.
According to NASA calculations, this asteroid & # 39; 2015TB145 & # 39; better known as & # 39; Skull & # 39;the next will approach the earth November 11 about 40 million kilometers, this is the second time this event is presented.
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This strange asteroid was discovered on October 10, 2015 by the Pan-STARRS telescope, in a project carried out by NASA in Hawaii, United States. It has a diameter between 625 and 700 meters, which means it is too small to be seen with the naked eye.
Several teams of astronomers set up their instruments & # 39; 2015TB145 & # 39;, together with NASA, which it with the radio telescopes from Green Bank (West Virginia, USA) and Arecibo (Puerto Rico). In some of the images obtained by the latter, it was observed that the rotating asteroid sometimes resembled a human skull because of the light conditions during some moments of its rotation.
The difference between this visit and the previous visit is calm for the experts, because although it is classified as potentially dangerous, this time it will be a bit further away than in 2015, so it does not generate any warning so far.
It is believed that this phantasmagoric asteroid is formed by the rest of other asteroids, but mainly gas and ice. According to astrophysicist Pablo Santos Sanz, of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (Spain), his appearance has characterized him as a "dark & # 39; asteroid, whose reflection coefficient & # 39; is hardly superior to that of coal & # 39 ;.
In the past, this asteroid & # 39; skull & # 39; maybe a comet, according to studies. Photo: NASA.GOV
Undoubtedly, it is a truly fascinating object that astronomers would like to investigate further, to collect as many details as possible about it.
Under the information recorded to date of this celestial body, they detect that the eccentricity of its orbit suggests that it may have been a comet in the past that lost its volatile elements after countless orbits around the sun, making it a simple Dark Rock space wandered.
The thermal inertia (the amount of heat saved and the rate at which it is absorbed or transferred) is compatible with that of asteroids of similar size, the experts say.
As for the reflectivity or the albedo of the surface of this asteroid, it is about 5 or 6%, which means that it reflects about 5 to 6% of the light of the sun. So in reality it is very dark, only a bit more reflective than coal.
Currently it is about 3.2 astronomical units on earth (that is 3.2 times the average distance between the earth and the sun) and it has a magnitude of 26.2, which means that it is only visible with large telescopes. Earth or with space telescopes.
The researchers plan to use this asteroid & # 39; skull & # 39; to study in more detail in his next approach to the Earth in November 2018.
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