Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is also on its way. Discovered on January 3rd, some calculations of its orbit, according to Phil Plait, the rather good “Bad Astronomer”, have it passing 37,000km above the surface of the planet in October 2014—roughly the height at which communication satellites orbit Earth, and a remarkably close shave by cosmic standards. An official NASA website puts the most likely “close-approach” distance between the comet and Mars at something more like 100,000km.
But the minimum close-approach distance is zero. Comets do not move smoothly on their tracks like ball bearings or planets.
Join us on our
Share this page with your friends
on your favorite social network: