Greg Hogan sent in this video of the little comet C/2016 BA14, which he acquired on March 21, 2016, one day before the comet swept closest to Earth. This comet made the closest sweep past Earth of any known comet in 246 years! It passed about 9 lunar distances from us, moving at 31,345 miles per hour (50,445 km/h) through space.
I was able to grab some shots and make a video animation of Comet C/2016 BA14, showing how fast it is moving across the sky in just a 20-minute window.
I did a 15-second exposure for 85 shots and compiled them all together.
These were taken from Kathleen, Georgia, at around 10:15 p.m ET using a Celestron 6N and a Canon 7D.
Comet C/2016 BA14 may be a fragment of another comet – labeled 252P/LINEAR – which is in a very similar orbit and which passed closest to us on March 21.
Comet C/2016 BA14 – shown on this page – made the third-closest flyby of a comet in recorded history. Comet D/1770 L1 (Lexell) holds the record for closest pass, by the way, at just 5.9 lunar distances on July, 1770.
Thank you, Greg!
Bottom line: Video by Greg Hogan of Kathleen, Georgia, showing the swift moment across the sky of Comet C/2016 BA14, closest comet in 246 years and third-closest known comet in history. It swept 9 lunar distances from Earth on March 22, 2016.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.