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Waspie_Dwarf

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

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Could a Comet Hit Mars in 2014?

A recently discovered comet will make an uncomfortably-close planetary flyby next year — but this time it’s not Earth that’s 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
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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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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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Comet to Make Close Flyby of Red Planet in October 2014

732064main1comet2013030.jpg

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

› Larger view

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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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.

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Posted (edited)

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

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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.

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Posted (edited)

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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hope it dosent miss and hit us.

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hope it dosent miss and hit us.

Even if it misses Mars it will come nowhere near Earth.

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If it misses Mars, has there been any talk about what the gravity of Mars and it's moons will do to the comets trajectory? Or is it not a factor?

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That would be cool. 2 impacts on planets within 20 years.

Jupiter and then Mars.

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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.

But I still like it!

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.

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a super massive doomsday comet boo-hoo not one to be messed about with unless god redirects it here.

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nuclear weapon definitely not!!!it might pollute The earth's atmosphere and etc after they blow up it might somehow the radiation reach back earth.but sometimes I say certain things that seem harsh but this is a honest question here.1)do we really need for something to happen in order to react or see the potential dangerous side effects and effects of anything???.I mean come people asteroids and comets and nuclear weapons are just bad news overall.weapons do not protect.the earth and life is not dangerous we are taught to think that way about anything.should we stop using common sense and intelligence of course not nor be ignorant either.there are forces at work and behind The scenes but its not what most may think though.another thing I have noticed about humanity is everything is a crisis these days!!!

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Let's hope NASA is preparing for any changes this thing

might make or maybe a ufo will change its course???

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

Why would you wish more suffering on the people of a totalitarian state like North Korea?

Over two million people have estimated to have died in the last 15 years from food shortages, famine etc. (around 10% of the population) .

Also the state's record on human rights abuses against it's people is disgraceful. Reports of torture, public executions, slave labour, and forced abortions and infanticides in prison camps

The North Korean government maintains ten concentration camps, with a total of between 200,000 and 250,000 prisoners contained therein. Conditions in the camps are terrible, and the annual casualty rate has been estimated as high as 25%. The North Korean government has no due process system, imprisoning, torturing, and executing prisoners at will. Public executions, in particular, are a common sight in North Korea.

Don't you think they have suffered enough?

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I guess we found a new use for Nuclear Weapons. But i highly doubt the World expects America to use up all of its arsenal at once. China and Russia better help are asses.

There would definitely be no one laughing if a 20-mile-wide comet were coming at us with less than two years of advance warning. In that scenario, the only realistic option would be hydrogen bombs, and lots of them. Vanderbilt estimates it would take about 250 megatons' worth of energy to divert an object like Comet Siding Spring. At 1 to 5 megatons per bomb, that would mean 50 to 250 bombs from the nuclear powers' stockpile.

Thats one way to get rid of are Worlds Nuclear Weapons Arsenal.

I am seriously hoping it hits Mars. If it doesn't i guess were all $ucked.

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