First, check this out:
See those two dots that intersect? That’s Comet C/2013 A1 and Mars.
Now, right now, with very little data, they are projecting it will miss Mars by about 650,000 miles. That’s a close shave, but not real exciting. The key words however, are being “with very little data”. That leaves a LOT of room for error. Additionally, from what I’ve read so far, this comet is BIG. Big enough to do some serious damage. Possibly would destroy one of Mars’ moons ( they’re not much more than big rocks anyway ). And, it would permanently alter the appearance of Mars. As well as, destroy our rovers and give us a remarkable first-person view of what it would be like getting hit by a comet. This stuff is really cool!
If it survives it’s pass with Mars, it will come pretty close to Venus, and even closer to Mercury. Now, from the orbit guessing I’ve seen so far, they’re not sure how close exactly it’s going to get to Mars. Then, they don’t seem to adjust it’s orbit at all when it does pass Mars. So, watch out Mercury and Venus in December 2014!
If this thing does hit Mars or any other planet, it won’t mean the end of life as we know it on Earth, but it could create some serious problems ala February 15, 2013 times 1,000.
Tossing all the conspiracy theories aside, this will make for one spectacular view in Fall 2014 for sure!
A couple of good links: