It’s black. It’s massive. It’s shaped like a skull. Meet the dead comet that will fly safely past Earth this Halloween.
At 10 a.m. on Halloween morning, a mysterious and vaguely skull-shaped body from space will hurtle past our planet, coming within 1.3 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.
Scientists had previously thought the object was a large asteroid with a funky orbit. However, new observations made on Oct. 30th suggest it is more likely a dormant comet that has shed its volatile materials after several turns around the sun.
The new measurements reveal that the extraterrestrial body is as dark as printer toner and generally round in shape. It also appears to be larger than previously thought. Early estimates suggested the space rock was about 1,300 feet in diameter, but in fact it it is closer to 2,000 feet long, or about the length of 5 1/2 football fields.
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