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Mars Science

Comet C/2013 A1 May Hit Mars In 2014 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-boom dept.
astroengine writes "According to preliminary orbital prediction models, comet C/2013 A1 will buzz Mars on Oct. 19, 2014. C/2013 A1 was discovered by ace comet-hunter Robert McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales, Australia, on Jan. 3. When the discovery was made, astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona looked back over their observations to find "prerecovery" images of the comet dating back to Dec. 8, 2012. These observations placed the orbital trajectory of comet C/2013 A1 through Mars orbit on Oct. 19, 2014. Due to uncertainties in the observations — the comet has only been observed for 74 days (so far), so it's difficult for astronomers to forecast the comet's precise location in 20 months time — comet C/2013 A1 may fly past at a very safe distance of 0.008 AU (650,000 miles). But to the other extreme, its orbital pass could put Mars directly in its path."
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Comet C/2013 A1 May Hit Mars In 2014

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  • by jrmcc (703725) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:37PM (#43008215)
    Keep your head down.
  • by jcrb (187104) <.jcrb. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:42PM (#43008289) Homepage

    Said the Earth.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:45PM (#43008325)

    Of course, I realize there are "anti-science" people who don't believe in the existence of Martian dinosaurs.

  • by cod3r_ (2031620) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:51PM (#43008413)
    The one spot it ends up landing happens to be on the multi million dollar mars rover. That would be something.
  • by Longjmp (632577) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:07PM (#43008617)

    ... It would really suck for the first suicidal astronauts to get there and be flattened by a comet.

    While I usually find the usual Star Wars joke pretty tiring, I can't resist myself this time:
    Imagine the last radio transmission from mars astronauts to earth would be one saying to the other "That's no moon."

  • by RatBastard (949) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:12PM (#43008667) Homepage

    I guess he's decided it's time to do something about those damned Martians.

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:32PM (#43008879)
    Late-breaking news from the Council: REMAIN CALM.

    Panic and hysteria swept our world today upon the discovery of an inbound cometary body with a non-zero impact probability.

    K'Breel, Speaker for the Council, addressed a terrified world:

    "Podmates and citizens, we believe this object to rate, at most a 1 or a 2 on the Q'nirot scale, and expect further observations to eliminate the possibility of a collision. There is cause for continued observation, but at present there is no cause for alarm."

    "We believe this potential impactor to be a routine and natural phenomenon, not a hostile threat from the Blueworlders. For one thing, is approaching from the direction away from the Blue World, from a region that even their invasion fleets have yet to control. Furthermore, it has recently been demonstrated that the Blueworlders, despite the technological terrors they have sent to our world, remain utterly incapable of deflecting inbound asteroids and comets. Unlike our illustirous Planetary Defense Forces, the blueworlders lack the technology to do anything about an inbound impactor."

    "A solid planetary defense is the right of every being in every technologically-advanced civilization. As the Blueworlders have so recently discovered the hard way, conquest and empire sometimes need to take a back seat to the basic tools that constitute civilization."

    When a junior reporter suggested that EVERYBEING PANIC ANYWAYS, the Speaker concluded his remarks:

    "For decades, junior reporters have been making proposals to this council that begin with 'we have to fight the blueworlders over there before we have to fight them over here', and today marks the day where they can finally put their gelsacs where their mouths are."

    The reporter's gelsacs were then mounted on the impactor unit of the the kinetic kill vehicle that remains the Planetary Defense Force's third and last line of defense.

  • by RivenAleem (1590553) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @06:43AM (#43012709)

    In soviet Mars, comet kill Curiosity!

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