A recently discovered comet called C/2013 A1 is expected to buzz past Mars in October 2014. A groups of scientists have calculated that the meteor will fly as close as 37,000kms to the Red Planet. But scientist believe the meteor’s trajectory could change and hit the planet.
The consequences would be dramatic: the nucleus is estimated to be between 15km to 50km wide, and impact with the Red Planet could reach a speed of about 55km/s (more than 193,000 km per hour).
Although it is unlikely to happen, the explosion caused by the meteor would be 25 million times more powerful than any nucler bomb tested on the Earth. According to Slate.com astronomer Phil Plait, the hit would yield “one billion megatons: That’s one million tons of TNT exploding.”