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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. This tells us that Comet Siding Spring has been immensely over-achieving since it was first discovered, likely due to CO2 driven outbursts starting around 10 AU from the Sun. We haven't heard measures yet of its albedo, composition, rotation, or rate of evolution like we found for ISON last year, nor have we heard yet from MEX, MOM, MSL, or Mars Odyssey, but you can expect more in the next few weeks and months. Stay tuned!