October 17, 2014


Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring is approaching Mars. This comet will undoubtedly be the great comet for Mars as it will swing within only 1,39,500 kms of the Red Planet on October 19th. That's about 10 times closer than any known comet flyby of planet Earth, and nearly one third the Earth-Moon distance.  The comet will pass Mars at a relative velocity of 56km/sec. It is predicted that the comet will shine with magnitude -6 from Mars.

The comet will be 10th magnitude from Earth. It would be difficult to observe the comet being so close to Mars low in the evening sky but you can follow a webcast provided by the Virtual Telescope Project.

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-Rahul Zota
Bhuj, India