Close Call for Mars

October 19th, 2014
in econ_news

Econintersect:  On Sunday 19 October 2014 a comet known "Siding Spring" will pass within 87,000 miles of Mars.  Such close encounters of comets with planets of the inner solar system are rare so scientists have a lot of measurement experiments planned to observe and learn from the event.  The comet is named after Australia's Siding Spring Observatory, near Coonabarabran, New South Wales, which first obereved the comet in 2013.

Click for much larger image.

Follow up:

From a NASA press release:

On October 19, a comet that has travelled many billions of miles will come within about 87,000 miles of Mars - about one-third of the distance of the Moon from Earth. Comet Siding Spring comes from the Oort Cloud, material left over from the formation of the solar system. "This comet is coming into the solar system straight from the Oort Cloud. It's likely this is its first time this close to the sun," said space scientist David Humm, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.

Oort cloud material, including comets, is scattered through a vast region that begins outside the orbits of Neptune and Pluto and extends a substantial fraction of the distance to Proxima Centauri, the closest neighboring star.  Oort Cloud comets can tell scientists about the materials - including water and carbon compounds - that existed during the formation of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago.

Studying this close encounter will be the largest fleet of orbiting scientific observatories ever flown to another world, orbiting around (and rolling on the ground of) Mars. These instruments will, for the first time ever, have the chance to make close-up observations of a comet new to the inner solar system. And though it will not be the easiest task, the teams operating these instruments and spacecraft have developed plans to take advantage of this rare opportunity.

Diagrams show how comet will approach Mars.
Source: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration.


Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved