This Skull-Shaped Space Rock is Going To Fly By Earth Right After Halloween

Very spooky, very cool.

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NAIC-Arecibo/NSF

Halloween is still a month away and fans of the holiday are already stocking up on fake spider webs and vampire teeth. But Halloween 2018 will bring an unusual new visitor: A ghost asteroid.

An asteroid, called 2015 TB145, looks from some angles like a human skull, with deep, dark eye sockets. It will swing back around to Earth just days after Halloween, on November 11.

The last time the object was seen from Earth was in October 2015. It gained a lot of fans from its Halloween flyby, and nicknamed it "The Great Pumpkin." The comet also has a bunch of other monikers, like "," and , but the coolest alias has to be "Skull Asteroid."

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NAIC-Arecibo/NSF

If the shape and eerie timing of the asteroid isn't enough to creep you out, the fact that it's made up of the remnants of a dead comet might. Vishnu Reddy, a research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, :

"We found that the object reflects about 6 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."
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NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR/NRAO/AUI/NSF

And while some outlets questioned if the asteroid was a "doomsday threat" in 2015, it flew at a close but safe distance of about 300,000 miles past Earth. This year it'll also be at a safe distance at about 105 times the , which adds up to about 25 million miles away.

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