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A Comet may hit Mars in 2014


seabhcan

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Interesting science news. A new comet has been spotted in the southern hemisphere. Its moving at 35km/s and heading towards Mars. It will come within 50,000km of the planet on 19th October 2014 and there is about a 1/600 chance that it might actually hit the planet.

If it did, 50km of rock and ice would crash into the surface (with little atmosphere to slow it down) and release about 20 billion megatons tnt of energy and create a 500km wide crater. The flash of the explosion would be visible from earth.

Even if it misses we're in for a show. There are 2 rovers and 2 orbiting space craft in place around mars ready to snap some pictures of the flyby. The comet itself should be visible using binoculars.

Incoming comet will probably miss Mars, says NASA ? The Register

C/2013 A1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In October this year, to whet your appetite, the 'comet of the century' is due to narrowly miss the sun. If it doesn't break up beforehand, the comet will be brighter than the moon and might be visible during the day.

The comet of the century in 2013 | TIME.com
 

Ryan Tubbs

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There seem to have been quite a few of these NASA "near miss" stories in the last 6 months. Should we be worried ?
 

Ryan Tubbs

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Anyone who has seen "Melancholia" by Lars Von Trier will know why I'm so paranoid!
 

constitutionus

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i remember the shoemaker/levy strike on jupiter.

tremendous entertainment altogether.

be class to see something happen similar on mars. wonder if this thing will come close enough to strike one of mar's two moons?
 

westernyelp

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i remember the shoemaker/levy strike on jupiter.

tremendous entertainment altogether.

be class to see something happen similar on mars. wonder if this thing will come close enough to strike one of mar's two moons?
If it hits Mars it will must probably destroy all the landers and probes orbiting the planet. It would be a big blow to science. Lets hope it doesn't hit.
 

seabhcan

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i remember the shoemaker/levy strike on jupiter.

tremendous entertainment altogether.

be class to see something happen similar on mars. wonder if this thing will come close enough to strike one of mar's two moons?
Jupiter was a very big target, Mars is about 20 times smaller (in diameter). Mars' moons are tiny. Both are actually smaller than this comet.
 

seabhcan

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If it hits Mars it will must probably destroy all the landers and probes orbiting the planet. It would be a big blow to science. Lets hope it doesn't hit.
There's be a chance, but it would be unlikely to damage them. They'd only be at risk if the comet hit somewhere within about 2000km of a lander - so the odds are against it.
 

westernyelp

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the secretary

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the comet probably wont hit mars at all.
most comets have ice on them which allows the sun to light them up, thus we are able to see them.
some have no ice, therefore they dont show up and have no tail as comets do.
these are very difficult to detect and could well pose much more of a threat to earth.
only a small percentage of comets and other space objects are being tracked as far as i'm aware. please correct me if any of this is wrong.
 

seabhcan

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the comet probably wont hit mars at all.
most comets have ice on them which allows the sun to light them up, thus we are able to see them.
some have no ice, therefore they dont show up and have no tail as comets do.
these are very difficult to detect and could well pose much more of a threat to earth.
only a small percentage of comets and other space objects are being tracked as far as i'm aware. please correct me if any of this is wrong.
This comet is 50km across, placing it on the large size (its 1000 times wider than the object that hit Russia two weeks ago, and a billion times heavier)

About 99% of objects larger than 1km across and inside the orbit of Jupiter are tracked. This comet is new though - it hasn't been this close to the sun in 1million years or more.
 

gatsbygirl20

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But if we're only tracking some comets, or some bits of floating celestial debris--and if even with what we know about, there is some risk to Mars and close shaves with the Sun, etc----is it not very likely that Earth will be hit an awful smack sooner rather than later, by something we have not picked up yet, or by something we have spotted but which we thought might just miss us....?
 

luvmycountry

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Hey do you know what would be really funny? If they find that old couple they are looking for to send to Mars, and they just arrive, then get blasted by a comet… haaa
 

seabhcan

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But if we're only tracking some comets, or some bits of floating celestial debris--and if even with what we know about, there is some risk to Mars and close shaves with the Sun, etc----is it not very likely that Earth will be hit an awful smack sooner rather than later, by something we have not picked up yet, or by something we have spotted but which we thought might just miss us....?
Sooner or later, that is certain to happen.
 

westernyelp

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the comet probably wont hit mars at all.
most comets have ice on them which allows the sun to light them up, thus we are able to see them.
some have no ice, therefore they dont show up and have no tail as comets do.
these are very difficult to detect and could well pose much more of a threat to earth.
only a small percentage of comets and other space objects are being tracked as far as i'm aware. please correct me if any of this is wrong.
It is the ice on the comet which can make it a bit unpredictable, as it gets closer to the Sun some of these frozen gases heat up and are vented from the comet, working a bit like thruster engines, this can change a comets path depending on the amount of thrust produced.
 
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