NASA to Discuss Science Findings of Oct. 19 Comet Flyby of Mars

NASA will host a media teleconference at noon EST on Friday, Nov. 7, to provide initial science observations of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring’s close flyby of Mars and the impact on the Martian atmosphere.

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and a radar instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft provided the first close-up studies of the comet that originated from the distant outer reaches of our solar system.

Briefing participants include:
- Jim Green, director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington
- Nick Schneider, instrument lead for MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph, University of Colorado, Boulder
- Mehdi Benna, instrument scientist for MAVEN’s Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt. Maryland
- Don Gurnett, co-investigator on Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding instrument on Mars Express, University of Iowa, Iowa City
- Alan Delamere, co-investigator for MRO’s HiRISE instrument, Delamere Support Services, Boulder, Colorado

For dial-in information, media representatives should e-mail their name, affiliation and telephone number to Dwayne Brown at dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov by 11 a.m. Friday.

Visuals will be posted at the start of the event at http://www.nasa.gov/mars/telecon.
Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio.
The event will also be streamed, with visuals used by the participants at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2.

The Siding Spring Observing Campaign

The Siding Spring Observing Campaign is a NASA-backed program tasked with encouraging and facilitating an international Earth and space-based observing campaign for Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) prior to, during, and after, its extremely close brush with Mars on 19 October 2014.

Following the overwhelming success of the Comet ISON Observing Campaign, the "CIOC" has repurposed itself under the label of Coordinated Investigations Of Comets, with its current emphasis targeting the thrilling prospect of Comet Siding-Spring's passing within 1/3 the Earth-Moon distance of the planet Mars in late 2014.

This CIOC website will provide up-to-date information about Comet Siding Spring, information on participation in the Campaign and how you can help, links to relevant observatories and programs, and blog postings from CIOC Team members. Over the coming months, as C/2013 A1 makes its close approach to Mars, and an increasing volume of observations are made, you can expect to see a corresponding increase in the number of articles, blog posts and images appearing on the site. If you are a professional astronomer, and would like to make your observation plans known, please fill out a brief observation form.