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Twin comets to fly by Earth on Monday

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Posted at 8:41 AM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-21 08:41:50-04

If you love stargazing, you’re in for a treat today.

Two comets will fly by Earth in almost similar orbits.

According to Nasa.gov, Comet P/2016 BA14 was discovered on Jan. 22, 2016. Researchers then found that this newly discovered comet had an orbit similar to comet 252P/LINEAR, which was discovered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey on April 7, 2000.

Comet 252P/LINEAR, approximately 750 feet (230 meters) in size, will fly past Earth on at a range of about 3.3 million miles and on Tuesday, comet P/2016 BA14 will safely fly by at a distance of about 2.2 million miles. This will be the third closest flyby since 1983.  The time of closest approach for comet 252P/LINEAR on March 21 will be around 5:14 a.m. PDT (8:14 a.m. EDT). The time of closest approach for P/2016 BA14 on March 22 will be around 7:30 a.m. PDT (10:30 a.m. EDT).

Due to the small size of the comets, to see this show, you’ll have to have a powerful, professional-grade telescope.

When is the next close approach? Click here to find out.