Environment

Twin comets to make historic flyby of Earth: Latest update

Twin comets to make historic flyby of Earth: Latest update

Twin comets to make historic flyby of Earth: Latest update

Two comets will be coming closer to earth than any other comet in last more than 250 years. The two comets will be flying by earth one after the other on two subsequent days.

The first and the bigger one will fly by later today, while the other will be flying by earth more closely. Nonetheless the second comet will be a lot smaller and at its closest point will still be several times farther than the moon.

NASA has said that the two comets will come so close to our earth that they will be visible to even naked eyes. The star gazers in United States and Canada must thank their stars as they will be able to enjoy the spectacle using merely ordinary binoculars.

Nonetheless if you live in areas where the spectacle is not accessible and you cannot watch it wither with naked eyes or with the help of binoculars, you need not worry. The Hubble Space Telescope, the powerful ground-based Gemini telescopes and others will be trained on the celestial visitors, which will provide an extraordinary close-up of objects usually glimpsed only at a distance.

While talking about the importance of the occasion a renowned astronomer Michael Kelley of the University of Maryland says, “This is one for the record books…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.”

While the first comet that is bigger will be looking at earth from a long distance, the smaller comet will be coming closer to earth than any other comet in the past 250 years. The first comet 252P/LINEAR, is a bright green color from the carbon gas it’s puffing out, says the University of Maryland’s Matthew Knight. 252P will slide past Earth at a distance of roughly 3 million miles. That’s well beyond the moon but near enough to put 252P in the top 10 of closest-approaching comets.

Initially the astronomers didn’t know about the second comet that is closely following the first one. But after some time they realized that they will have a smaller guest closely following behind the huge comet. P/2016 BA14 was then taken as a comet when astronomers could see its tail. The two are “are among the closest comets to pass by Earth in recorded history” says Knight. While talking about it further Knight says that the only comet known to have skimmed past us at a smaller distance was Lexell’s Comet in 1770.

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