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Comet C/2013 A1 -- very close approach to Mars

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Jon Kirwan, Feb 28, 2013.

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  1. Jon Kirwan

    Jon Kirwan Guest

    Just discovered January 3rd, 2013, there is a finite
    probability of a collision of a large Oort cloud object with
    Mars on October 19, 2014. It's coming through the orbital
    plane from a steeper angle than Pluto, but looks as though it
    will come surprisingly close (or possibly hit) Mars. The
    object size is unknown at this point, but estimates place the
    size anywhere from perhaps as little as 10km to as much as
    50km in diameter. (Absolute magnitude is 10.3.) In short --
    big. Because it is retrograde, the estimated approach
    velocity to Mars is significant -- perhaps more than 56 km/s.

    Interesting reports on current orbital elements as they
    develop are found below The first link is the initial
    announcement and the 2nd link was updated today with new
    observations and a refined set of elements. The original
    estimate put it to a distance of 703 microAU from Mars'
    surface. Today's estimate adjusts this to about 249 microAU
    from Mars' surface.

    http://spaceobs.org/en/2013/02/25/comet-c2013-a1-siding-spring-a-possible-collision-with-mars/
    http://spaceobs.org/en/2013/02/27/new-data-concerning-the-close-approach-of-comet-c2013-a1-to-mars/

    Decent orbital simulation using earlier orbital parameters
    follows:

    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=C/2013 A1;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=1#orb

    You can change your perspectives on it, which is nice. That
    simulation places it about 703 microAU from Mars, per the
    earlier orbital elements.

    Worth a look.

    A blog on the topic:
    http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?p=950707

    Jon
     
  2. Neat!
    Thanks,

    George H.
     
  3. josephkk

    josephkk Guest

    Let's get the word out. This is a serious close approach event. It may
    not get close to earth but it may make for some fun comet watching.

    ?-)
     
  4. Jon Kirwan

    Jon Kirwan Guest

    Yesterday's new measurements put it slightly further away
    from Mars, at perhaps 459 microAU. More to come each day, I
    suppose.

    The comet will be less than .9 AU from Earth about two months
    before it encounters Mars, but in the southern hemisphere and
    about 1.6AU from the sun at that time, I think. By the time
    it passes by Mars (which is also just about it's closest
    approach to the sun, as well, at about 1.4 AU), it will be
    more than 1.6 AU away from us and proceeding rapidly away
    from us after that. Unfortunately for us in the northern
    hemisphere, as it gets really close to the sun and nears
    Mars, Earth's tilt will be such that the northern hemisphere
    is tilting almost directly away.

    I'm hoping it is very interesting to see, just the same.

    Jon
     
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