Monday, October 20, 2014

Comet Siding Spring Buzzes C2013 A1 Mars in Once-in-a-Lifetime Flyby

Credit: SLOOH

Comet Siding Spring C2013 A1 zoomed by Mars today (Oct. 19) in an extremely rare close encounter that scientists billed as a "once-in-a-lifetime" event that may help researchers better understand the earliest days of our solar system.

Comet Siding Spring C2013 A1 came within just 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) of the Martian surface at 2:27 p.m. EDT (1827 GMT) today, about one-third of the distance between Earth and the moon.

At the time of closest approach, the comet barreled by at 126,000 mph (203,000 km/h) relative to the Red Planet, NASA officials said.

All seven spacecraft currently operating on or around Mars were scheduled to observe the close shave, with the aim of learning more about comet composition and behaviour.

The US Deep Space Network monitored the NASA Mars satellites currently orbiting Mars.

Credit: SLOOH

No comments:

Post a Comment