Comet twins pass us Monday and Tuesday

Comet 252P LINEAR on March 27, about 45 minutes before sunrise.

The two comets are passing safely, but both will have a record-breakingly close flybys, with one becoming the closest comet in 246 years.

A pair of comets showing very similar orbits are sweeping past Earth today and tomorrow (March 21 and 22, 2016). While both are passing at a safe distance, both are having a record-breakingly close flybys. Plus, observers reported last week that one of the comets had become so bright, it’s visible using binoculars. The two are Comet 252P/LINEAR and Comet P/2016 BA14, and both are fascinating for different reasons. It’s possible that advanced amateur astronomers might be able to capture images of each of the twin comets.

You can watch P2016 BA14’s pass live online. Space enthusiasts will have the opportunity to witness the close flyby of this comet.

Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project, will share live views of the close flyby on March 21 and 22 at 2100 UTC (5 p.m. ET). Translate to your timezone here.

To watch the comet online via the Virtual Telescope Project, click here.

-More at EarthSky

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