Google+ SpaceTravelFoundation: Mars orbiters healthy after Siding Spring comet flyby

October 20, 2014

Mars orbiters healthy after Siding Spring comet flyby

Dear readers and followers,

Last week, we informed you that a huge ice comet, called C/2013 A1, will be so close to Mars on Sunday October 19th. All mars orbiter, as the Indian spacecraft, has been repositioned in order to reduce the effect of and not be disturbed by the flyby of the comet Siding Srping. The other orbiters from NASA orbiters around Mars confirmed their healthy status Sunday after each took shelter behind Mars during a period of risk from dust released by a passing comet.

Credit image: +Hubble Space Telescope 

Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter all are part of a campaign to study comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring and possible effects on the Martian atmosphere from gases and dust released by the comet. 

Credit image: +NASA 

The comet sped past Mars today much closer than any other know comet flyby of a planet. Actually, the comet missed the red planet by just 140,000 kilometers.

As we said in Friday October 17th, the comet could be observed from Earth, here, an image of the comet C/2013 A1 taken from the ESA's Optical Ground Station, equipped with a 1-meter telescope, on Tenerife, Canary Islands.

Credit image: +European Space Agency, ESA 

Source: NASA

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