Comet C2013 ‘Siding Spring’: Could hit or miss Mars in October

Posted: February 27, 2013 by tallbloke in Astronomy, Astrophysics, cosmic rays, Electro-magnetism, solar system dynamics

Hat tip to Michele Casati for this news from A cometary impact on Mars could potentially leave a 500km wide crater this October! A near miss will be just as interesting in terms of the way the coma is affected by Mars’ magnetosphere. The ‘Electric Universe’ and plasma science people will be busy making predictions I should think.

Author: Leonid Elenin


Chris Smith / NASA

As I wrote previously, the recently discovered comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will make a extremal close approach to Mars on 19 October 2014. A collision scenario isn’t ruled out either. Today, at the ISON-NM observatory, new astrometric measurements were received for this comet. Based on the existing measurements, more accurate orbital elements were calculated. The results of the second calculation for the close approach show that the comet might pass just 41,000 km (0.000276 a.u.) from the planet’s centre, that is less than 37,000 km from its surface!

Considering the size of the coma, which should exceed 100,000 km near the perihelion of its orbit, it can be said with 100% certainty that the planet will pass through the gaseous envelope of the comet C/2013 A1. Having a very tenuous atmosphere, the surface of the red planet will be subject to intensive bombardments by microparticles which, among other things, might cause malfunction of the space probes currently there.

Read more at:

  1. I note on my personal agenda 2014

    write on “search”: C/2013 A1
    push enter and…
    bon voyage

  2. Whaooo….

    alignment Earth-mercury-sun

    Uranus-Earth-Mercury-Sun-Venus line

    Analysis with Solex

  3. michael hart says:

    Exciting stuff. Is there any possibility that the Mars rover will be able to capture and analyse any microparticles?

  4. Bloke down the pub says:

    As I wrote previously, the recently discovered comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will make a extremal close approach to Mars on 19 October 2014

    Are you from Bristol?

  5. tallbloke says:

    Miichele, everything is hiding behind Mars. 🙂

    Lets hope a near miss at low Mars orbit doesn’t produce a strong ‘slingshot’ effect in our direction…

  6. u.k.(us) says:

    Either it enters the gravity well, or it doesn’t.
    I thought science was “settled” long ago.
    Why, all the uncertainty ?