Closest Comet to Fly Past Earth Since 1770 Coming This Week
Two comets are headed for a historic flyby of Earth this week, and you don’t want to miss them.
The bigger of the two bodies, known as 252P/LINEAR, is about 750 feet in size and surrounded by an emerald green cloud of gas. It is expected to make its closest approach to our planet on March 21 at 5:14 a.m. PDT.
At that time, it will come within 3.3 million miles of Earth, or about 14 times farther from our planet than the moon on March 21.
The next day, at 7:30 a.m. PDT, a second, smaller comet known as P/2016 BA14 will come even closer —flying within 2.2 million miles of our planet or 9.2 times farther from the Earth than the moon.
That will make it the closest comet to fly past Earth since 1770, according to Sky & Telescope, and the second closest comet to zip past Earth in recorded history.