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Mars To Encounter Comet Siding Spring

By Dr. Lisa Will
 
This Sunday, October 19, Mars will have a close encounter with Comet Siding Spring.
 
And by close, I mean close!
 
Comet Siding Spring, also known as C/2013 A1, will be approximately 82,000 miles away from Mars at its closest approach. That might not seem like much, but to give you a sense of scale that is equivalent to about one-third the distance between the Earth and the Moon!
 
NASA has several spacecrafts in operation around Mars, both on the surface and in orbit. As these crafts take their observations of Comet Siding Spring, NASA will be posting the information on their website.
 
This is a rare opportunity to see a comet so close! Hopefully we’ll be receiving lots of new and intriguing data from the encounter.