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Could a Comet Hit Mars in 2014? [merged x2]

mars comets impact comet c/2013 a1 comet siding spring

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:20 AM

Could a Comet Hit Mars in 2014?


news.discovery.com said:

A recently discovered comet will make an uncomfortably-close planetary flyby next year but this time its not Earth thats in the cosmic crosshairs.

According to preliminary orbital prediction models, comet C/2013 A1 will buzz Mars on Oct. 19, 2014. The icy interloper is thought to originate from the Oort Cloud a hypothetical region surrounding the solar system containing countless billions of cometary nuclei that were outcast from the primordial solar system billions of years ago.

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Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 08 December 2013 - 09:27 PM.

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#2    shrooma

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:34 PM

The icy interloper is thought
to originate from the Oort Cloud —
a hypothetical region surrounding
the solar system containing
countless billions of cometary
nuclei that were outcast from the
primordial solar system billions of
years ago.
.
hypothetical?
I thought the oort cloud was a given to exist?

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#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:58 PM

View Postshrooma, on 26 February 2013 - 07:34 PM, said:

hypothetical?
I thought the oort cloud was a given to exist?

The existence of the Oort cloud has been deduced, but it has never been observed thus it is correct to refer to it as hypothetical.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#4    J. K.

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:00 PM

http://solarsystem.n...ay=OverviewLong

The NASA website is worded somewhat speculatively: "proposed" and "believed to be".

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#5    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:36 PM

View PostJ. K., on 26 February 2013 - 08:00 PM, said:

The NASA website is worded somewhat speculatively: "proposed" and "believed to be".
Not speculative, just showing (as you would expect from NASA) an understanding of how science works.

Scientists are fairly sure that the Oort cloud exists. Scientists also understand what actually constitutes as proof. Since the Oort cloud has not been observed scientists (correctly) will not refer to it as if is proven.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#6    J. K.

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:07 PM

Perhaps "speculative" wasn't the correct word?  I was trying to point out that while it is not proclaimed as a hard fact, it is accepted as a probability until further evidence is observed.

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#7    krypter3

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:22 PM

Quote

A new-found comet will give Mars a close shave next year, and there's a slim chance that it could actually hit the Red Planet, NASA scientists say.
Comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will come within about 31,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) of Mars in October 2014, according to the latest estimate from the Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.
The trajectory of 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is still not known well enough to rule out a dramatic comet collision with Mars, though that could change.

http://www.space.com...2014-flyby.html

So yeah, that's a thing.  Wonder if it will send chunks of Mars in our direction, if it actually hits.


#8    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:08 AM

Comet to Make Close Flyby of Red Planet in October 2014


www.nasa.gov said:

Posted Image

This computer graphic depicts the orbit of comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) through the inner solar system. On Oct. 19, 2014, it is expected to pass within 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) of Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will make a very close approach to Mars in October 2014.

The latest trajectory of comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) generated by the Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., indicates the comet will pass within 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) of Mars and there is a strong possibility that it might pass much closer. The NEO Program Office's current estimate based on observations through March 1, 2013, has it passing about 31,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) from the Red Planet's surface. That distance is about two-and-a-half times that of the orbit of outermost moon, Deimos.

Scientists generated the trajectory for comet Siding Spring based on the data obtained by observations since October 2012. Further refinement to its orbit is expected as more observational data is obtained. At present, Mars lies within the range of possible paths for the comet and the possibility of an impact cannot be excluded. However, since the impact probability is currently less than one in 600, future observations are expected to provide data that will completely rule out a Mars impact.

During the close Mars approach the comet will likely achieve a total visual magnitude of zero or brighter, as seen from Mars-based assets. From Earth, the comet is not expected to reach naked eye brightness, but it may become bright enough (about magnitude 8) that it could be viewed from the southern hemisphere in mid-September 2014, using binoculars, or small telescopes.

Scientists at the Near-Earth Object Program Office estimate that comet Siding Spring has been on a more than a million-year journey, arriving from our solar system's distant Oort cloud. The comet could be complete with the volatile gases that short period comets often lack due to their frequent returns to the sun's neighborhood.

Rob McNaught discovered comet 2013 A1 Siding Spring on Jan. 3, 2013, at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. A study of germane archival observations has unearthed more images of the comet, extending the observation interval back to Oct. 4, 2012.

NASA detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them, and plots their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

JPL manages the Near-Earth Object Program Office for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

More information about asteroids and near-Earth objects is at: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch . More information about asteroid radar research is at: http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/ . More information about the Deep Space Network is at: http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn .  

DC Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
agle@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

2013-081




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"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#9    krypter3

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 05:16 AM

naaah sorry Waspie, I looked but couldn't see a thread about this Dx.

What about gravity, does the red planet have enough to pull it into orbit? Or into itself.

Also, Mars has quite a few moons no?  If it misses Mars could hit one of those.


#10    shaddow134

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:30 AM

Is this too close for comfort,Comet said to be anywhere from 9 miles to 30 miles in size may hit Mars.


http://news.ca.msn.c...eats-from-space

Edited by shaddow134, 09 March 2013 - 05:36 AM.

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#11    krypter3

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 01:08 AM

Wait this comet hitting Mars could be a good thing, if it caused a flood it could very well make the Red planet Habitable again in the distant future.


#12    pallidin

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:12 PM

IF it does hit, hope it doesn't take-out our Curiousity rover.  :blush:

On the other hand, maybe we can redirect it to North Korea.  :w00t:

I know, I know, that would still cause world-wide damage.

Edited by pallidin, 11 March 2013 - 12:16 PM.


#13    highdesert50

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:53 PM

So, this event has me wondering if Mar's geographical vestiges of flowing water are more indicative of random hits of asteroids and comets than of a once large body of water. I suppose if the isotopic composition varied from location to location on Mars then that might provide some evidence of more random hits. Perhaps the more enlightened can comment.


#14    Frank Merton

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 01:53 PM

I think a comet hitting Mars would be great.  It would create a brand-new crater, that no doubt would become a prime target for detailed study, both at collision and later.

It is far more likely to hit Mars (bigger target) than one of the two moons.  It might take out the rover, depending on where on Mars it hit.  A hit is much more likely than an orbit, which takes extremely unlikely (and much slower than is likely in a comet) movement.  A miss is by far the likeliest.

No matter what happens we are going to learn things.

I'm a little surprised by the hesitancy about the existence of the Oort cloud.  While it true it hasn't been observed (a swarm of comets that far away could not be seen), I thought its existence had pretty much been confirmed from the study of the incoming paths of thousands of comets.  NASA has to be given final say on that sort of thing though.


#15    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:18 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 11 March 2013 - 01:53 PM, said:

I'm a little surprised by the hesitancy about the existence of the Oort cloud.  While it true it hasn't been observed (a swarm of comets that far away could not be seen), I thought its existence had pretty much been confirmed from the study of the incoming paths of thousands of comets.
It's not hesitancy, it's good science. Until it has been directly observed it remains hypothetical no matter how strong the statistical evidence to back it up. You will find very few astronomers that don't accept the existence of the Oort cloud, but science recognises that it doesn't know everything. Until the Oort cloud is directly observed there remains the possibility of an alternative explanation for the orbits of comets which no one had thought of.


View PostFrank Merton, on 11 March 2013 - 01:53 PM, said:

NASA has to be given final say on that sort of thing though.
It's nothing to do with NASA, it's the International Astronomical Union (IAU) that has the final say on that sort of thing.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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