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Mars vs Comet Siding Spring

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ScienceCasts: Colliding Atmospheres - Mars vs Comet Siding Spring

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Comet Siding Spring is about to fly historically close to Mars. The encounter could spark Martian auroras, a meteor shower, and other unpredictable effects. Whatever happens, NASA's fleet of Mars satellites will have a ringside seat.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Comet Siding Spring will have its closest approach to Mars tomorrow on Sunday Oct. 19, 2014 at ~11:28 AM PT/2:28 PM ET/18:28 UT

and a lot of space and Earth/Mars based equipment will focus on the event:

Earth-based and space telescopes, including NASA’s iconic Hubble Space Telescope, also will be in position to observe the unique

celestial object. The agency’s astrophysics space observatories -- Kepler, Swift, Spitzer, Chandra -- and the ground-based Infrared

Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii -- also will be tracking the event. NASA’s asteroid hunter, the Near-Earth Object Wide-field

Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), has been imaging, and will continue to image, the comet as part of its operations. And the

agency’s two Heliophysics spacecraft, Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) and Solar and Heliophysics Observatory

(SOHO), also will image the comet. The agency’s Balloon Observation Platform for Planetary Science (BOPPS), a sub-orbital

balloon-carried telescope, already has provided observations of the comet in the lead-up to the close encounter with Mars.

Images and updates will be posted online before and after the comet flyby. Several pre-flyby images of Siding Spring, as well as

information about the comet and NASA’s planned observations of the event, are available online at:


Here is a link to a nice interactive visulation about the view from the Curiosity rovers point of view to the comet:

http://www.solarsyst...m/sidingspring/ and this link shows the distance in between Mars and Siding Spring in real time:


So we can expect a big number of amazing pictures on Sunday, especially if the Comet is visible such huge as shown in the interactive

visulation as shown above.

Edited by toast

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Preliminary readings from the several spacecraft on and around Mars indicate that the Red Planet experienced a 'mind blowing' meteor storm when comet Siding Spring swept by just less than three weeks ago. The comet's tail apparently passed nearer Mars than expected. Measures taken to protect the orbiting spacecraft were justified, and may have saved them from being damaged. See linked article, below, for more on this.

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