Comet hitting earth 2016? 2 comets flyby is historic event for sky-lovers
NASA has said that two comets will flyby earth on March 21 and 22. This is a great news for sky-watchers across the world who love celestial development.
NASA has made it clear that the two comets are not going to come too close to our earth or shatter our peaceful existence on planet earth. Nonetheless the comets will come closest to earth compared to any other in more than two centuries.
NASA has made it clear that at 8:14 a.m. on Monday, comet 252P/LINEAR will pass within 3.3 million miles of Earth, making it the fifth-closest comet to skim by our planet. Then at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, comet P/2016 BA14 will pass within 2.1 million miles of earth. Michael S.P. Kelley of the University of Maryland was one of the first astronomers to see that BA14 was a comet instead of an asteroid, as initially thought. Kelley has booked the Hubble Space Telescope for 9 hours to observe 252P as it zooms by.
The flybys despite being very close are not going to harm earth in any way. The astronomers have said that these close passes are rare and unusual, supporting the idea the two had split at some point – a common occurrence for comets. In 2000, 252P was discovered by MIT astronomers, while BA14 was first spotted from the Hawaiian observatory Pan-STARRS.
While talking about it, Paul Chodas, manager at NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Objects, said the comets do not threaten Earth, rather the fly-bys are “an excellent opportunity for scientific advancement on the study of comets.” The comets are comparatively dim, given their small size of a few hundred feet in diameter. Both will pass over the Southern Hemisphere.