Comet flyby 2016: twin comets’ earth fly by date, time, United States’ sky watchers to have great time
Two comets are going to come â€˜dangerouslyâ€™ close to our planet earth. This will happen twice in a row. NASA has said that Comet 252P/LINEAR will fly by Earth on March 21, 2016 and will cross the earth from a distant of around 3.3 million miles.
This is the closest that a comet has come to earth in more than 250 years. Nonetheless this is not the only comet that will perform the flyby. On March 22, another comet P/2016 BA14 will dazzle the sky-watchers while flying by our planet from a range of 2.2 million miles (3.5 million kilometers).
Though the second planet will cross the earth from very close compared to the first one, NASA has said none of them will pose any threat to the earth.
NASA has said that the comet on 22nd March will be third closest flyby of a comet in recorded history, next to comets in 1770 and 1983.
NASA in a statement said, “While both comets will safely fly past at relatively close distances, anyone hoping to see them will need powerful, professional-grade telescopes, due to their relatively small sizeâ€.
NASA has said that sky-watchers in the USA will be able to watch the first and larger comet with binoculars. Michael Kelley of the University of Maryland says, â€œThis is one for the record booksâ€¦It’s a fantastic opportunity for professionals to learn more about comets, and if you have a chance to try to find them … it’s a fantastic chance to see part of history as it happens.”
The timing of the flyby will be perfect for sky watchers in the US. The time of closest approach for comet 252P/LINEAR on March 21 will be around 7:14 a.m. CDT. The time of closest approach for P/2016 BA14 on March 22 will be around 7:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. CDT. The Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility will investigate the comets’ possible twin nature.