Chabot Space and Science Center Hosts ‘Giant Pumpkin' Asteroid Party

The next time an asteroid will come this close to earth is in 2027, according to experts.

Oakland's Chabot Space and Science Center is giving space-lovers a treat this Halloween. In honor of the giant asteroid that will come hurtling past earth this weekend, the center announced Friday that it will be extending its open hours to host a rockin’ viewing party.

Astronomers say the asteroid, coined “the great pumpkin” by NASA, will pass within 302,000 miles of earth. That’s a distance far enough to guarantee the blue planet’s safety, but close enough for scientists to get a good look at one of the largest space rocks to pass by in recent years.

Chabot -- which usually closes at 10 p.m. – will be staying open until 1 a.m. Friday and will start the viewing at 10:45 p.m. As usual, entry to the public observation deck is free.

Earth will not have another close encounter with an asteroid this size until 2027, NASA experts predicted.

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