Green-glowing 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova will make an unusually close pass by Earth on Saturday. Watch it boogie across the morning sky this week!
Green means "go," and you won't get any argument from 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova.
This pedal-to-the-metal comet will zoom past Earth at 51,000 mph,
making its closest pass around 8 UT (3 a.m. EST) on Saturday morning,
While it won't be coming in for a landing, 45P/H-M-P will miss the
planet by just 7.7 million miles or about 32 times the Earth-Moon
distance. Because of its proximity, we'll see this frenetic fuzzball
barrel across more than 2 hours of R.A. and nearly 20° of declination in
the next five days.
The comet poses no threat, but the waxing Moon might. Back in late December and January,
when 45P/H-M-P huddled nearer the sun, it quickly grew into a bright,
compact ball of aqua haze with a long skinny tail, resembling an onion
yanked from your garden. Now outbound from the Sun, it's quickly losing
its mojo — the comet is currently tailless, large, and diffuse.
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