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.

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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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