NASA releases images of comet headed for Mars
Zee Media Bureau
New York: NASA`s Hubble Space Telescope has released new pictures of a comet poised to give Mars a close shave later this year.
The comet named `Siding Spring`, would pass on October 19, 2014, within 84,000 miles or 1,34,400 km of Mars, less than half the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
The comet would also be closest to the Sun Oct 25, 2014, at a distance of 130 million miles or 208 million km, quite outside of the Earth`s orbit.
The comet, however, is not likely to be seen with the naked eye.
Astronomers were keen on getting images when the Earth crossed the comet`s orbital plane (the path the comet takes as it orbits the Sun) this time.
The Hubble Space Telescope also observed `Siding Spring` on January 21 when the Earth was crossing its orbital plane.
(With Agency inputs)
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