A Comet Near Earth Just Made One of the Closest Flybys This Week

Source: AP
Source: AP

On Tuesday, a comet made a really close flyby across Earth (don't worry, no impacts) at a distance that was one of the shortest in recent history. The comet, P/2016 BA14, came past Earth from 2.2 million miles away. However, the comet was really small — for comet standards — and as a result, it was only viewable through professional grade telescopes. 

"March 22 will be the closest comet P/2016 BA14 gets to us for at least the next 150 years," Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center of NEO Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a NASA press release. "Comet P/2016 BA14 is not a threat. Instead, it is an excellent opportunity for scientific advancement on the study of comets."

The P/2016 BA14 is likely a smaller chunk of a comet that flew by Earth on Monday — comet ?252P/LINEAR — as they follow "an unusually similar orbit," according to the press release. 

Anybody interested in seeing the comet can check out a video provided by the Virtual Telescope Project below. 

Source: YouTube

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Miles Surrey

Miles is a staff writer at Mic, covering culture. He is based in New York and can be reached at miles@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Can't download iOS 11 public beta? Having trouble installing it? Here's a quick fix.

Want to download iOS 11 public beta but can't figure it out? Here are some tips and tricks for troubleshooting.

The Hubble Telescope just took pictures of a galaxy twice as massive as the Milky Way

This discovery shatters what scientists had previously believed.

The world needs this smart laser that kills every mosquito in sight

It could help save millions of lives.

iOS 11 Beta: Every new feature that’ll change how you use your phone, all in one video

Your iPhone will never be the same.

Anonymous claims NASA has found intelligent alien life. Here's the truth.

Never blindly trust a robotic voice behind a mask.

Can't download iOS 11 public beta? Having trouble installing it? Here's a quick fix.

Want to download iOS 11 public beta but can't figure it out? Here are some tips and tricks for troubleshooting.

The Hubble Telescope just took pictures of a galaxy twice as massive as the Milky Way

This discovery shatters what scientists had previously believed.

The world needs this smart laser that kills every mosquito in sight

It could help save millions of lives.

iOS 11 Beta: Every new feature that’ll change how you use your phone, all in one video

Your iPhone will never be the same.

Anonymous claims NASA has found intelligent alien life. Here's the truth.

Never blindly trust a robotic voice behind a mask.