2 comets will pass by Earth this week - the closest in 250 years

2 Comets Will Pass By Earth This Week — The Closest In 250 Years

Two comets will pass by Earth this week and one will come close enough to break a 250-year record.

Comet P/2016 BA14 will still be a safe 2.2 million miles away when it flies by on Tuesday, but it will take the record for the third-closest comet to Earth on record.

And there's another twist that's getting scientists excited. 252P/LINEAR, the bigger comet set to fly past Earth on Monday, might be related to P/2016 BA14 — as in twins.

Because 252P/LINEAR and P/2016 BA14 have a similar orbit it could mean the two broke off from a larger comet or that P/2016 BA14 broke off from 252P/LINEAR.

Usually, comet parts burn up after breaking off. This pass-by means scientists could get the rare chance to study two pieces of a broken-off comet.

NASA says you'll likely only be able to view the pair with a telescope.

This video includes clips from NASA/JPL-Caltech, The Sky Live, NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and an image from Paul Stewart / CC BY SA 2.0.

More News:
Cuba to welcome Obama on historic trip despite hatred of embargo
Britain's Prince Harry meets survivors of Nepal earthquake
Dogs have been delaying trains for 111 years

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.