Comet Siding Spring’s near-miss of Mars is today! October 19th 2014




UPDATE OCTOBER 19, 2014. Hurtling through space at about 35 miles (56 kilometers) per second, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) will sweep very close to the planet Mars today. It will be less than one-tenth the distance of any known previous earthly comet flyby on October 19 at 18:28 UTC, or 1:28 p.m. Central Daylight Time in North America.

The comet won’t collide with Mars, but its nucleus is expected to come within 82,000 miles (132,000 kilometers) of the Red Planet, or about one-third the moon’s distance from Earth. The comet’s coma of gas and dust may engulf Mars! In way of contrast, the closest comet to swing by Earth in recorded history was Lexell’s Comet, at six times the moon’s distance from Earth (6 x 384,400 kilometers or 238,855 miles) in the year 1770. Follow the links below to learn more about the comet that’s buzzing Mars today





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