Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
In the quest to track Comet Siding Spring, the Mars Express team tells us how computing the orbit of a comet isn't as straightforward as science fiction would have us believe.
Today's update from the Mars Express team contains the realisation that, for some of the risks associated with October's Siding Spring flyby, there may not be much the team can do.
Here's the next installment in the continuing story of how the Mars Express team is preparing for Comet Siding Spring flyby, 19 October 2014. This week: introducing the spacecraft's subsystems and structure – and wondering how we can absorb impacts.
Today's post continues where we started last week with an update from the Mars Express Flight Control Team at ESOC on their preparations for the 19 October Comet Siding Springs flyby. Today: defining the challenge!
On Sunday, 19 October 2014, at around 18:30 UTC, comet C/2013 A1 – known widely as 'Siding Spring' after the Australian observatory where it was discovered in January 2013 – will make a close fly-by of Mars.
You thought you were rid of us...but we're back! Following the spectacular and, quite frankly unprecedented, success of the Comet ISON Observing Campaign, we are launching a similar venture for another unique cometary encounter that's happening this year. In October 2014, comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass extremely close to Mars.
JPL's Solar System Dynamics group shows that there is still a possibility that C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) could hit Mars. But the uncertainty in its position at that time is large -- the closest approach could happen an hour earlier, or an hour later -- so we're a long way from knowing yet whether it will or (more likely) won't impact.
A recently discovered comet, C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), is going to be passing very close to Mars on October 19, 2014. Does it pose a risk to spacecraft?
Today the Wide-field Survey Explorer (WISE) team released a small album of beautiful astrophotos.