Getting spooky in space: Asteroid will pass Earth on Halloween

A narrow miss for Earth by asteroid 2015 TB145. Credit: Reuters

A large asteroid is due to pass Earth on Halloween, stunning astronomers who only discovered it a fortnight ago.

The snappily named asteroid 2015 TB145, which measures around 2,000ft in diameter, will come within 0.0032 astronomical units or 310,000 miles of Earth next week.

310,000 miles might seem like a wide enough berth, but the asteroid is actually the largest object to pass our planet in almost ten years. What's more, another of this size isn't expected to come so close again until 2027.

Despite its size, asteroid 2015 TB145 wasn't spotted until earlier this month, when the Pan-STARRS I survey located it.

The reason for its late detection has been put down to the asteroid's unusual orbit.

In a statement NASA said:

We won't be able to see the asteroid with the naked eye, but those with access to a telescope can track its path. Credit: Reuters

The asteroid's flyby comes after a number of leading scientists called for more research into asteroid-tracking technology in order to protect the planet from unknown space rocks.

Lord Martin Rees, Brian Cox and Richard Dawkins are among more than 100 experts campaigning for the creation of a huge asteroid detection system.

It is currently estimated that we have only detected 1% of asteroids that could pose as 'hazardous' to Earth.