Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Halloween Asteroid

Here are a couple of photos of the "Halloween Asteroid" that passed by the Earth on Oct 31, technically known as asteroid 2015 TB145.  They were imaged in the radar domain by the Are1ibo telescope on October 30.

The object is thought to be a "dead" comet (no more volatiles to create the comet tail).  It passed by at about half a million kilometres,which is about 30% farther out than our moon.  It's over half a km in diameter, so it would have created continent wide havoc, had it hit.  It was only discovered about 3 weeks before the fly-by; were it to have been on a collision course, we wouldn't have had much recourse but to "duck and cover".

The first photo is from the NASA site.

The next photo is after I did a bit of processing in the open source image  processing program known as Gimp.  Basically, I just turned up the brightness and contrast of the picture, bringing out the similarity to a human skull even more than in the original.  It is a fitting reminder from space, of the danger represented by near Earth objects colliding with our planet.

Oh, and here's a link to some Halloween Sci-Fi :)

Free on Amazon for the Halloween weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment