Big event in the solar system today! #Comet #SidingSpring will just skim Mars by 87,000 km. To give you an idea, our #Moon is about 384,400 km from our #Earth so this comet would pass in between earth and the moon and show up like a second sun in the sky.
Cool Facts: #CometSidingSpring is traveling about 56 km/s! The weight alone is about the weight of a mountain. It’s also shedding 220 pounds of dust per second.
Why should we care? Comets come from two places: Oort Cloud (cosmic cloud our solar system is sitting in 50,000 AU out, earth to sun is 1 AU) and Kuiper belt (50 AU out. This comet took an estimated MILLION years to come from the #oortcloud and is compromised of material that gives us very strong clues of how our solar system formed. We know how the outer planets are formed but still don’t fully understand the inner planets. Comets, especially from the Oort Cloud, are extremely unpredictable and hard to study and don’t come around often. So this gives humans an exciting chance to get a better look at one.
Are we in danger? No we aren’t but our billion dollar satellites orbiting #Mars are and scientists had to calculate the exact time for the satellites to hide behind the planet Mars so it won’t get destroyed.
When is it happening? Sunday October 19, 2:15 pm EST. Watch live via Slooh webcast.