This could be really interesting or really bad

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/02/28/mars_impact_the_red_planet_may_get_hit_by_a_comet_in_october_2014.html

Awesome!
I forgot how much I enjoy reading Phil Plait. I used to have him on my list of blogs and must have gotten rid of it by mistake. Thanks for posting this, macgyver.

Phil Plait is a great educator. He has a real talent for making complex concepts very understandable not to mention his tireless efforts to correct astronomical misconceptions and pseudoscience ( ie. the mayan apocalypse).

Yes, and he is an excellent writer, witty, funny, and very easy to understand. I’ve read two of his books and loved them both.

So has anyone figured out where Curiosity will be if it hits? On the same side or the opposite side?
Comet hits rover, news at 9.
psik

I don’t think it makes much of a difference on which side of the planet it’ll be.

I don't think it makes much of a difference on which side of the planet it'll be.
It affects how quick the destruction would be and how much data we could get. Are there satellites to relay data from Curiosity? There won't be fires after impact and Curiosity doesn't need food. It might "survive" it depending on location. psik

Did you read the article?
'[W]e’d almost certainly lose all our robotic probes in orbit and on the surface. An impact that size would blast debris all over the planet, and the rovers could be damaged or destroyed. Even something in orbit wouldn’t be safe; the ejecta would come screaming off the planet and sent every which way in orbit around Mars. It would be like orbiting into a shotgun blast."

Did you read the article? '[W]e’d almost certainly lose all our robotic probes in orbit and on the surface. An impact that size would blast debris all over the planet, and the rovers could be damaged or destroyed. Even something in orbit wouldn’t be safe; the ejecta would come screaming off the planet and sent every which way in orbit around Mars. It would be like orbiting into a shotgun blast."
I said:
It might “survive" it depending on location.
He said "could" be destroyed and I said "might" survive. What is the difference? psik

Its an interesting question psik. All of the orbiting and land based probes may have opportunities to collect unprecedented data on this comet since Mars may pass directly through the coma. Unfortunately it may come at a big cost since a trip through the coma of a comet may result in some very high speed high energy impacts. Even a small paint chip sized piece going at 55 mps can do a hell of a lot of damage to sensitive craft that weren’t designed and hardened for such a mission. Guess wwe just have to hope for the best and collect what we can while the probes are functioning.
Currently we have 5 vehicles at Mars, 2 rovers ( Opportuniy and Curiosity) and 3 orbiters, Mar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Express, 2001 Mars Odyssey. It would be a real shame if some or al of them were disabled.

Sounds like another reason to skip the trip around Mars with one’s wife. :lol:
Occam

I don't think it makes much of a difference on which side of the planet it'll be.
It affects how quick the destruction would be and how much data we could get. Are there satellites to relay data from Curiosity? There won't be fires after impact and Curiosity doesn't need food. It might "survive" it depending on location. psik Don't forget about the inevitable extended period of atmospheric obscuration by dust caused by extremely large impacts. Bad for solar-powered robots.

Is there any room to wonder what the electromagnetic effects would be of an impact that size?

Don't forget about the inevitable extended period of atmospheric obscuration by dust caused by extremely large impacts. Bad for solar-powered robots.
That would only effect Opportunity. Curiosity is nuclear powered. The orbital craft would not be affected at all since they are beyond the atmosphere.
Is there any room to wonder what the electromagnetic effects would be of an impact that size?
Interesting question. EMP's can be produced only by explosions that create a lot of xrays and I don't think that would happen with an impact or arial detonation like this. In addition the effects of an EMP are very limited from what I understand if there is no magnetic field and Mars does not have a magnetic field like the Earth does. I think the risk to our probes from electromagnetic disturbances would be minimal if any.
Don't forget about the inevitable extended period of atmospheric obscuration by dust caused by extremely large impacts. Bad for solar-powered robots.
That would only effect Opportunity. Curiosity is nuclear powered. The orbital craft would not be affected at all since they are beyond the atmosphere. Guess they forgot to install windshield wipers. Can't think of everything.
I don't think it makes much of a difference on which side of the planet it'll be.
It affects how quick the destruction would be and how much data we could get. Are there satellites to relay data from Curiosity? There won't be fires after impact and Curiosity doesn't need food. It might "survive" it depending on location. psik Don't forget about the inevitable extended period of atmospheric obscuration by dust caused by extremely large impacts. Bad for solar-powered robots. Curiosity is not solar powered. http://www.about-robots.com/curiosity-rover-nuclear-battery.html psik