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A Few Days Later

Well, we've learned that the Comet, Mars, and the Mars spacecraft are all A-OK. We're seeing fantastic real time and time-lapsed monitoring from the Pro-Ams of the flyby. The Mars surface rover Opportunity has detected the comet in the Martian sky, despite relatively strong dust storms, adding to the long list of achievements for this amazing robotic explorer. We're finding out from MRO/HiRISE that Comet Siding Spring has a very small, sub-km radius nucleus, like its fellow Oort Cloud interloper Comet ISON last year, with which it shares a smiler long term lightcurve.

It’s 6 AM And All’s Well

It's now 6 AM EDT on the 20th of October 2014, 18 hrs after the close flyby of Comet Siding Spring, and by all accounts the Mars spacecraft are all fine, as is the Comet. Now we get to wait and listen over the next few days to see what kind of imagery and spectroscopy of the flyby event we have obtained.

Good Luck Today For the Encounter!

Well, the big day is finally here, the one we have planned for for so long. We've got an intact, active, changing comet about to swing close
by Mars! Best of luck to everyone weather- and telescope h/w-wise. Keep in touch with us here if you have important news to report. From
our side, we expect to be hearing more and more over the next few days, starting mid-Sunday night, about what happened at Mars, as the
various spacecraft download their data and it gets calibrated, validated, and distributed on Earth. Stay tuned!

Coming in Fast and Low

Observing of comet siding spring is starting to heat up around here. Starting next Monday, I'll be observing the comet from the 3.5m APO optical and 3m NASA/IRTF infrared telescopes, taking advantage of the comets closest approach to the earth this month. It will still be a challenging object, though, quite far south and so low on the horizon and at highest altitude near sunset.

The Start of Something Big

Dear Reader,

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