Mars comet strike in 2014?

Mars could be at risk of comet strike in 2014

By Ian Steadman 27 February 2013

Astronomers have realised that a comet discovered last month appears to be on course for a close flyby of Mars next year — and uncertainty in its projected path means that it could hit the Red Planet.

C/2013 A1, discovered by Robert McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, was spotted on 3 January out between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn. After digging into data from other observatories, astronomers were able to reconstruct its orbit going back 74 days. Projecting that forward, it became clear that it would fly pretty close to Mars sometime on 19 October 2014 — which means there is a slight chance of it impacting the planet, according to astronomer Ian Musgrave. Now, further observations have increased that chance (though it’s still not very likely, before anyone starts panicking about the fate of the Curiosity rover). Continue reading