The latest trajectory of comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) generated by the Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., indicates the comet will pass within 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) of Mars and there is a strong possibility that it might pass much closer. Read More ››
This information will be updated as the comet nears Mars. Comet Siding Spring will become more active once it reaches the water line, an area about 2-3 times farther away the Sun than Earth. At this point (about April/May), heat from the Sun warms the comet, producing gases that create its coma and tail. Scientists will be able to model it better at that time.
Date of Nucleus' Closest Approach: October 19, 2014
Time of Nucleus' Closest Approach: ~11:28 AM PT ~2:28 PM ET ~18:28 UT
Estimated Distance of Nucleus from
Mars at Closest Approach: 85,600 miles
Coma Radius:Likely to engulf Mars
Time for Mars to Pass Through
Velocity of Dust Particles: ~ 125,000 mph (56 km/sec)
Dust Particles Produced by Comet (1/28/14): 220 pounds (100 kilograms) per second (~800,000 lbs per hour)
Amount of Dust Particles: ~ 5 years worth of normal
Chance of Mars Impact:Unlikely
Where is the Comet Now?
Brought to you by the Near-Earth Object (NEO) office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. See simulation ››