On Sunday a historic event will occur. An event that happens only once every 1 million years.
The comet "Siding Spring," with a core estimated to be at least half a mile in diameter, will pass Mars with a distance of 139 500 kilometers.
It may sound far, but is equivalent to a third of the distance between Earth and the Moon.
Never before has a comet from the so-called Oort cloud been so close to Earth, according to CBS.
NASA is particularly interested in Siding Spring because it comes from very far away.
The comet originating from the Oort cloud, which is 50,000 astronomical units from the Sun, have never before been visiting the inner solar system.
- Think of a comet which probably began its journey at the beginning of human life and first comes this close now, Carey Lisse, senior astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University, said to CBS .
The comet is the first from the Oort cloud, researchers can study in detail.
- We can not reach a comet in the Oort cloud with our current rockets, Lisse says.
NASA's six probes and rovers will follow the comet closely to observe its composition and structure, to find out how the planets were formed.
The comet will be best seen from the southern hemisphere - South Africa and Australia, while it will be difficult to spot from the northern hemisphere.
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