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Mars Close Comet Encounter 2014


Craig
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http://www.space.com/20443-mars-comet-2014-flyby-science.html

 

A close encounter between Mars and Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) in 2014 is creating both opportunity and anxiety in scientific circles. Scientists are in the early stages of assembling a comet-watching campaign that uses a spacecraft currently orbiting the Red Planet, as well as rovers on the Martian surface.

Scientists are also investigating what techniques could be used to prevent cometary debris from hitting Mars-orbiting spacecraft as the comet and planet converge.
 

The Mars-bound comet was discovered by Rob McNaught on Jan. 3 at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Scientists estimate that this comet arrived from our solar system’s distant Oort cloud and has been on a more than 1-million-year journey. The comet could contain volatile gases that short-period comets often lack due to their frequent returns to the sun’s neighborhood.

 

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I know the odds of it hitting are slim, but i do hope it hits. I think it very unlikely we'd get the chance to see an impact of that scale again for a very long tume.

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