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Darren Drake
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Mars could get hit by giant comet next year!
      #5701232 - 02/26/13 09:22 AM

This would be an increadible event but the odds are pretty small at this point for an actual collision on Oct 19, 2014. Mars will be about 5.7 arcseconds and set around 9 pm local time on that day. Here is the info...
http://spaceobs.org/en/news/


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dyslexic nam
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #5701274 - 02/26/13 09:47 AM

Pardon the astrological pun, but it would be amazing if the stars could align to make this happen.

Probably wouldn't be great for any ground-based technology on Mars, but it sure would be neat from an observational perspective.


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BrooksObs
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: dyslexic nam]
      #5701397 - 02/26/13 10:53 AM

I would hasten to question where the assumption that the comet's nucleus is some 50km in diameter originates.

Currently the IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams' ephemeris for the comet is listing an absolute magnitude of +6.0, indicating it to be a very average object. If one takes the nuclear magnitude to be +10.3, it would imply a probable size for the nucleus of more like say 5km, only a tenth of of the size indicated in the article. In contrast, a 50km cometary nucleus is an exceeding rare bird and is what one expects for brilliant comets like Hale-Bopp. As things stand now, C/2013 A1 is certainly no Hale-Bopp!

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (02/26/13 10:55 AM)


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leviathan
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5701526 - 02/26/13 12:07 PM

Poor Curiosity.

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Astrojensen
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: leviathan]
      #5701575 - 02/26/13 12:27 PM

Now THAT would be a cool event to see - from Earth!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5701866 - 02/26/13 03:22 PM

Careful what you wish for.

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Astrojensen
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5701884 - 02/26/13 03:34 PM

Quote:

Careful what you wish for.




I think you misunderstood me. What I meant was that a comet impact on Mars was a cool event to watch from (the safe and distant) Earth!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5701915 - 02/26/13 03:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Careful what you wish for.




I think you misunderstood me. What I meant was that a comet impact on Mars was a cool event to watch from (the safe and distant) Earth!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



Lol, no I got you.

'Careful what you wish for' is just a superstitious saying that warns against potential unintended consequences of wishes granted.

I agree it would be cool to witness an impact on a rocky planet. Oops.


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Dave Mitsky
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5701916 - 02/26/13 03:50 PM

There's more on C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) at http://www.universetoday.com/100298/is-a-comet-on-a-collision-course-with-mars/

Dave Mitsky


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Astrojensen
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5702017 - 02/26/13 04:33 PM

Quote:

Lol, no I got you.

'Careful what you wish for' is just a superstitious saying that warns against potential unintended consequences of wishes granted.





And I got that as well. We have the same saying in Danish, or almost.

Quote:

I agree it would be cool to witness an impact on a rocky planet. Oops.




Careful, now! It was pretty dang close to a big one just last week. Russian handymen had a field day, though.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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krp
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5702200 - 02/26/13 06:15 PM

Wow, this would be exciting to see from earth. The two website above are saying magnitude -4 or -8 as seen from the surface of Mars. Are there an estimates for the apparent magnitude as seen from earth? I know it's probably too early to tell.

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Centaur
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #5702390 - 02/26/13 08:16 PM

Thanks for the heads-up, Darren! I’ve created a diagram with an “overhead” view of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), Mars, Earth and Sun. It’s for the months surrounding the comet’s encounter with Mars. It can be seen from the bottom of my comets webpage: www.CurtRenz.com/comets

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Centaur
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: krp]
      #5702454 - 02/26/13 08:52 PM

Quote:

Are there an estimates for the apparent magnitude as seen from earth? I know it's probably too early to tell.




By utilizing the current JPL orbital elements, I estimate it will reach a peak magnitude of +7.7 for earthbound observers on 2014 SEP 10. It should be closest to Earth at 0.89 AU on 2014 SEP 05.


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azure1961p
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Centaur]
      #5702495 - 02/26/13 09:15 PM

The only chilling thing to me about this is that it brings *home* the reality these things are still perilous if even remotely. I would have to believe though if this thing hit - Curiosity wouldn't be the close of the current Mars effort and possibly CURIOSITY II would be made and sent to investigate the freshly excavated (if fused and burnt) material from the hit.

It would be tremendous Ill say that. I'd have to believe its extend our Mars program.

Pete


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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #5702974 - 02/27/13 07:29 AM

Just read the article. It would certinly be cool to watch but how would it affect our Mars landers?

Rich (RLTYS)


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Tonk
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5703011 - 02/27/13 07:55 AM

An object with a current orbit uncertainty spread of > 600,000 km aiming at a planet 6,800 km wide - humm

Which part of the uncertainly spread is Mars currently in? Elenin doesn't say but my bet its in the tail out at the << 0.001% mark :cynic: :moi:


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BSJ
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Tonk]
      #5703193 - 02/27/13 10:22 AM

I loaded the comet data into Stellarium and "went" to the comet (CTRL-G), for a ride along, and then cetered on Mars.

Kinda neat to see how close Mars will be to the comet, and how quickly it's moving. Even at normal speed...


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Special Ed
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Tonk]
      #5703999 - 02/27/13 06:30 PM

Quote:

An object with a current orbit uncertainty spread of > 600,000 km aiming at a planet 6,800 km wide - humm

Which part of the uncertainly spread is Mars currently in? Elenin doesn't say but my bet its in the tail out at the << 0.001% mark :cynic: :moi:




Are cooler, i.e. skeptical, heads prevailing here? Maybe that's why it's called "space" ?


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Tonk
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! new [Re: Special Ed]
      #5704073 - 02/27/13 07:17 PM

I forgot to point out that even though Elenin estimates the comet diameter as 50 km, others (Bortle) recon that absolute brighness equates to a 5 km object. This is fair as a 50 km object is represented by Hale-Bop. Siding Springs doesn't look like its a Hale-Bop class comet.

So thats a 5 km object with a > 600,000 km uncertainty aiming at a 6,800 km cross section ....


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azure1961p
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Re: Mars could get hit by giant comet next year! [Re: Tonk]
      #5704293 - 02/27/13 09:17 PM

Even at 5k that's still huge . The dust kicked up would be off the scale. I'd bet it'd be visible even in an 80mm. What it'd look like though I have no idea. Between the heat from the explosive impact to the sheer force sending dust up into the atmosphere - .

My hunch is its gonna fly right by - but the speculation is entertaining anyway.

Pete


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