Come Monday, there will be a celestial event as Earth will have one of the closet encounters ever recorded with a passing comet.
Two twin-like emerald-green comets will fly by the home planet at a safe distance, with the first occurring on Monday March 21, and the second passing by the following day, according to NASA. Scientists say these two objects will come ‘remarkably close,’ with the latter comet approaching 2.2 million miles from Earth, the third closest flyby in recorded history. Only in 1770, a comet came closer to earth. This is perhaps first time in recent history that two comets coming closer to Earth a day apart, according to physicists.
The first and bigger of the two comets will be visible Monday to the naked eye in the southern hemisphere.
Astronomers have reportedly discovered the trailing member of the pair, P/2016 BA14, only a few months ago, according to reports. “It was shrugged off as yet another asteroid, or space rock. Then astronomers peering through a telescope saw it had a tail – and was therefore a comet. That means BA14 and its larger companion “are among the closest comets to pass by Earth in recorded history,” says Knight, who took the first snapshot revealing BA14 is a comet. The only comet known to have skimmed past us at a smaller distance was Lexell’s Comet 250 years ago (in 1770), according to USA today, which quoted NASA scientists.