CIOC announces that The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) will host a one-day workshop on August 11, 2014, to discuss scientific opportunities offered by the close approach of Comet Siding Spring C/2013 A1 to Mars later this year. The comet will pass less than 130,000 kilometers from the Martian surface on October 19. Mars -- as well as the flotilla of robotic spacecraft in its orbit and on its surface -- will be closer to this comet than Earth has been to any other comet in recorded history. Read More...
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.