Living with CometsF Tsuruhiko Kiuchi—Nagano / Summer 1996
[back to Kiuchi home page]
Distance between Swift-Tuttle comet and earth: approximately ??km.
August 14, 2126 The Swift-Tuttle comet may come close to colliding with the earth.

"According to calculations by Professor Marsden of the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory, the next return in the comet's 135-year cycle with be August 14, 2126, when it will reach its closest point to Earth. When it crosses paths with Earth's orbit, it will be only about 70,000 kilometers away. However, the comet's velocity will go down, due to its gas, so there may be a 14-day time lapse. All factors necessary for a precise calculation are not clear."

This represents less than one-fifth the distance from the earth to the moon. The comet's plasma gas will reach a radius of around 40,000 kilometers, so the earth will be engulfed by such gases.
According to recent calculations, however, the comet will not come so close. As . Kiuchi says, we cannot predict exactly the movement of heavenly bodies.

"Since I made the discovery, I feel like it is my child. Since I know that there may be danger, I would like to do something to help the earth of 2126. Doing nothing is one option, but trying to do something is also an option. Whatever I try to do, I won't have enough power to make a major difference. That is why I want to consider the earth as a whole. It is a question of how to spread the word that the earth, our common valuable possession, is in danger. With that in mind, I want to reevaluate the earth once more."