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Encyclopedia > Deep Impact (space mission)
Illustration of the Deep Impact space probe after impactor separation (artist's conception)
Illustration of the Deep Impact space probe after impactor separation (artist's conception)

Deep Impact is a NASA space probe designed to study the composition of the interior of the comet Tempel 1. At 5:52 UTC on July 4, 2005, one section of the Deep Impact probe successfully impacted the comet's nucleus, excavating debris from the interior of the nucleus. Photographs of the impact showed the comet to be more dusty and less icy than expected. The impact generated a large, bright dust cloud that obscured the hoped-for view of the impact crater. Download high resolution version (2200x1700, 183 KB)Computer rendering of the Deep Impact space probe after separation of the impactor (credit NASA/JPL) Copied from JPL site File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (2200x1700, 183 KB)Computer rendering of the Deep Impact space probe after separation of the impactor (credit NASA/JPL) Copied from JPL site File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... NASA logo Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2005-09-01, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... A space probe is an unmanned space mission in which a spacecraft leaves Earths orbit. ... Comet Hale-Bopp For other uses, see Comet (disambiguation). ... Tempel 1 is a periodic comet (formally designated 9P/Tempel 1). ... It has been suggested that leap second be merged into this article or section. ... July 4 is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 180 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The solid, central part of a comet is known as the comet nucleus. ...


Previous space missions to comets, such as Giotto and Stardust, were fly-by missions, only able to photograph and examine the surfaces of cometary nuclei from a distance. The Deep Impact mission was the first to eject material from a comet's surface. In this artists concept, Giotto points its white high-gain antenna dish towards earth with the ring of solar cells facing the sun. ... An artists rendering of Stardust (NASA image) The Stardust capsule with cometary and interstellar samples landed at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at 10:10 UTC (15 January 2006) in the Bonneville Salt Flats. ...


The mission is a partnership of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the University of Maryland, College Park, and Ball Aerospace.[1] The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in La Cañada Flintridge, near Los Angeles, California, USA, builds and operates unmanned spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ... The University of Maryland, College Park (also known as UM, UMD, or UMCP) is a public university located in the city of College Park, in Prince Georges County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., USA. Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland is considered to be a Public Ivy... Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. ...

Contents

Mission profile

Following its launch on January 12, 2005, the Deep Impact spacecraft traveled 429 million kilometers in 174 days to reach Comet Tempel 1 at a cruising speed of 28.6 km/s (103,000 km/h or 64,000 mph). Once the spacecraft reached the vicinity of the comet on July 3, 2005, it separated into two portions, an impactor and a flyby probe. The impactor used its thrusters to move into the path of the comet, impacting 24 hours later at a relative speed of 10.3 km/s (37,000 km/h or 23,000 mi/h). The impactor, with its mass of 370 kilograms (814 pounds), delivered 1.96 × 1010 joules of kinetic energy- the equivalent of 4.5 tons of TNT. Scientists believe that the energy of this high-velocity collision was sufficient to excavate a crater up to 100 m wide (larger than the bowl of the Roman Colosseum), although the crater has not yet been spotted in post-impact images as the cloud of debris resulting from the impact is obscuring the view. January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 181 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Unsolved problems in physics: What causes anything to have mass? Mass is a property of a physical object that quantifies the amount of matter and energy it is equivalent to. ... The international prototype, made of platinum-iridium, which is kept at the BIPM under conditions specified by the 1st CGPM in 1889. ... The joule (symbol: J) is the SI unit of energy, which is defined as the potential to do work. ... Kinetic energy is the energy that a body possesses as a result of its motion. ... The word ton or tonne is derived from the Old English tunne, and ultimately from the Old French tonne, and referred originally to a large cask with a capacity of 252 wine gallons, which holds approximately 2100 pounds of water. ... Trinitrotoluene (TNT) is an explosive. ... The Colosseum by night: exterior view of the best-preserved section. ...


Just minutes after the impact, the flyby probe passed by the nucleus at a close distance of 500 km, taking pictures of the crater position, the ejecta plume, and the entire cometary nucleus. The entire event was photographed by Earth-based telescopes and orbital observatories, including the Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer and XMM-Newton. The impact was also observed by cameras and spectroscopes on board Europe's Rosetta spacecraft, which was about 80 million km from the comet at the time of impact. Rosetta should determine the composition of the gas and dust cloud kicked up by the impact.[1] Earth (IPA: , often referred to as the Earth, Terra, or Planet Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth largest. ... 50 cm refracting telescope at Nice Observatory. ... Space telescopes A space observatory is any instrument in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies, and other outer space objects. ... The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a telescope in orbit around the Earth, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble for his discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way and his creation of Hubbles Law, which calculates the rate at which the universe is expanding. ... For other uses, see Chandra (disambiguation). ... The Spitzer Space Telescope Facility launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Monday, Aug. ... This article is about XMM-Newton. ... A camera is a device used to take pictures (usually photographs), either singly or in sequence, with or without sound recording, such as with video cameras. ... A spectroscope is a device which measures the spectrum of light. ... World map showing Europe Political map (neighboring countries in Asia and Africa also shown) Europe is one of the seven traditional continents of the Earth. ... Conceptual drawing of the Rosetta orbiter and Philae lander Rosetta is a European Space Agency-led unmanned space mission launched in 2004 intended to study the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ... This article describes dust in the astronomical cosmic context, of which interplanetary dust and interstellar dust are particular types. ...


After this flyby of Tempel 1, it could be possible to retarget Deep Impact to comet Boethin, depending on budget availability. On July 20, 2005 a trajectory correction maneuver was performed to place the spacecraft on a trajectory to carry it to the Earth and use a gravitational slingshot to target another comet.[2] Comet Boethin (or 85P/Boethin) is a periodic comet and the possible future target of NASAs Deep Impact comet-exploration mission. ... July 20 is the 201st day (202nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 164 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Scientific goals

 This article or section needs to be updated.
Parts of this article or section have been identified as no longer being up to date.

Please update the article to reflect recent events, and remove this template when finished. Image File history File links Current_event_marker. ...

The mission's Principal Investigator was Michael A'hearn, an astronomer at the University of Maryland. Image File history File links Nuvola_apps_important. ... The University of Maryland, College Park (also known as UM, UMD, or UMCP) is a public university located in the city of College Park, in Prince Georges County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., USA. Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland is considered to be a Public Ivy...


The Deep Impact mission was planned to help answer fundamental questions about comets, such as:

  • Is the composition of a cometary nucleus the same throughout, or has some physical process caused the interior to become differentiated from the surface? In other words, is the nucleus layered?
  • Are cometary nuclei highly cohesive and tightly-packed, or porous conglomerates?
  • Do any parts of a cometary nucleus contain pristine material that have been untouched since the creation of the comet during the Solar System's early history?

Scientists hope that these questions will be answered, at least in part, by data from the Deep Impact mission. For example, the size and shape of the crater produced by the impact will tell scientists how well-packed the cometary material is. Major features of the Solar System (not to scale): The Sun, the eight planets, the asteroid belt containing the dwarf planet Ceres, outermost there is the dwarf planet Pluto (the dwarf planet Eris not shown), and a comet. ...


Spacecraft design and instrumentation

Spacecraft overview
Spacecraft overview
Cameras of the flyby spacecraft, HRI at right, MRI at left
Cameras of the flyby spacecraft, HRI at right, MRI at left

The spacecraft consists of two main sections, the 370 kg copper-core "Smart Impactor" which impacted the comet, and the "Flyby" section, which imaged the comet from a safe distance during the encounter with Temple 1. Overview of Deep Impact spacecraft. ... Overview of Deep Impact spacecraft. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3000x2025, 369 KB) original description: At Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colo. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3000x2025, 369 KB) original description: At Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colo. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Atomic mass 63. ...


The flyby section carries two cameras, the High Resolution Imager (HRI) and the Medium Resolution Imager (MRI). The HRI is an imaging device that combines a visible-light camera, infrared spectrometer, and an imaging module. It has been optimized for observing the comet's nucleus. The MRI is the backup device, and was primarily used for navigation during the final 10-day approach. Image of a small dog taken in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of radio waves. ... // Headline text Bold text:For Acoustic uses in spectrographs of sound waves, see below. ...


The impactor section of the spacecraft contains an instrument that is optically identical to the MRI, called the Impactor Targeting Sensor (ITS). Its dual purpose was to sense the Impactor's trajectory, which could then be trimmed (adjusted) up to four times, and to image the comet from close range. As the impactor neared the comet's surface, this camera took high-resolution pictures of the nucleus (as good as 0.2 meters per pixel) that were transmitted in real-time to the flyby spacecraft before it and the Impactor were destroyed. The final image taken by the impactor was snapped only 3.7 seconds before impact.[3]


The Impactor's payload, dubbed the "Cratering Mass" was 100% copper (Impactor 49% copper by mass) to reduce debris interfering with scientific measurements of the impact. Since copper was not expected to be found on a comet, scientists can eliminate copper from the spectrometer reading. If the impactor was loaded with other materials such as explosives, it would create a significant amount of organic vapor. General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Atomic mass 63. ...


Mission events

Before launch

Simulation: The collision of comet 9P/Tempel 1 and the Deep Impact impactor, simulated by Celestia software using pre-impact information. The sun and the earth are on the right side. Note: The Deep Impact itself faces the wrong direction. The solar array should face the sun and the high-gain antenna should point to the earth.
Simulation: The collision of comet 9P/Tempel 1 and the Deep Impact impactor, simulated by Celestia software using pre-impact information. The sun and the earth are on the right side. Note: The Deep Impact itself faces the wrong direction. The solar array should face the sun and the high-gain antenna should point to the earth.

A comet-impact mission was first proposed to NASA in 1996. However, NASA engineers were skeptical that the target could be hit.[4] In 1999, a revised and technologically-upgraded mission proposal, dubbed Deep Impact, was accepted and funded as part of NASA's Discovery Program of low-cost spacecraft. The two spacecraft (Impactor and Flyby) and the three main instruments were built and integrated by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado, USA. The name of the mission is shared with the Deep Impact movie, in which a comet strikes the Earth; but this is coincidental, as the scientists behind the mission and the creators of the movie devised the name independently of each other, at around the same time.[5] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2064x463, 153 KB) The head-on collision of comet 9P/Tempel 1 and the Deep Impact impactor, simulated by Celestia software using pre-impact information. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2064x463, 153 KB) The head-on collision of comet 9P/Tempel 1 and the Deep Impact impactor, simulated by Celestia software using pre-impact information. ... Comet 9P/Tempel 1 taken by the Deep Impact impactor Tempel 1 is a periodic comet (formally designated 9P/Tempel 1). ... For other uses, see Celestia (disambiguation). ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... NASAs Discovery Program is a series of lower-cost, highly focused scientific space missions. ... Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. ... Deep Impact is a 1998 disaster film/science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures. ...


Launch and commissioning phase

The probe was originally scheduled for launch on December 30, 2004, but NASA officials delayed its launch, in order to allow more time for testing the software. It was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral on January 12, 2005 at 1:47 p.m. EST (1847 UTC) by a Delta 2 rocket. December 30 is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 1 day remaining. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... Cape Canaveral from space, August 1991 Cape Canaveral (Cabo Cañaveral in Spanish) is a strip of land in Brevard County, Florida, United States, near the center of that states Atlantic coast. ... January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A Delta II rocket launches from Cape Canaveral carrying a GPS satellite The Boeing IDS Delta II family of launch vehicles has been in service since 1989 and has successfully launched 115 projects (through August, 2004) including the last six NASA missions to Mars: Mars Global Surveyor in 1996 Mars...


Deep Impact's state of health was uncertain during the first day after launch. Shortly after entering orbit around the Sun and deploying its solar panels, the probe switched itself to safe mode. The cause of the problem was simply an incorrect temperature limit in the fault protection logic for the spacecraft's RCS thrusters. The spacecraft's thrusters were used to detumble the spacecraft following third stage separation. NASA subsequently announced that the probe was out of safe mode and healthy.[6] Safe Mode is a special diagnostic mode used by certain computer operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X) and other complex electronic devices. ...


On February 11, Deep Impact's rockets were fired as planned to correct the spacecraft's course. This correction was so precise that the next planned maneuver for March 31 was canceled. During the "commissioning phase" all instruments were activated and checked out. During these tests it was found that the HRI images were not in focus after it underwent a bake-out period.[7] Mission members investigated the problem. On June 9, as part of a mission briefing, it was announced that by using image processing software and the mathematical technique of deconvolution, the HRI images could be corrected to provide the resolution anticipated.[8] February 11 is the 42nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... March 31 is the 90th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (91st in Leap years), with 275 days remaining. ... June 9 is the 160th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (161st in leap years), with 205 days remaining. ... Deconvolution is a process used to reverse the effects of convolution on recorded data. ...


Cruise phase

Comet Tempel 1 imaged on April 25 by the Deep Impact spacecraft
Comet Tempel 1 imaged on April 25 by the Deep Impact spacecraft

The "cruise phase" began on March 25, immediately after the commissioning phase was completed. This phase continued until about 60 days before the encounter with comet Tempel 1. On April 25 the probe acquired the first image of its target at a distance of 64 million km (39.7 million miles).[9] Download high resolution version (750x750, 56 KB)NASA probe Deep Impact image of its destination Comet Tempel 1, on April 25, 2005, at a distance of 64 million km (39. ... Download high resolution version (750x750, 56 KB)NASA probe Deep Impact image of its destination Comet Tempel 1, on April 25, 2005, at a distance of 64 million km (39. ... Tempel 1 is a periodic comet (formally designated 9P/Tempel 1). ... April 25 is the 115th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (116th in leap years). ... March 25 is the 84th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (85th in leap years). ... April 25 is the 115th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (116th in leap years). ... km redirects here. ...


On May 4 it executed its second trajectory correction maneuver. Burning its rocket engine for 95 seconds the spacecraft speed was changed by 18.2 kilometers per hour (11.3 miles per hour). May 4 is the 124th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (125th in leap years). ...


Approach phase

The approach phase extends from 60 days before encounter (May 5) until five days before encounter. Sixty days out was about the earliest time that the Deep Impact spacecraft was expected to detect the comet with its MRI camera. In fact, the comet was spotted ahead of schedule, sixty-nine days before impact (see Cruise phase above). This milestone marks the beginning of an intensive period of observations to refine knowledge of the comet's orbit and study the comet's rotation, activity and dust environment. May 5 is the 125th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (126th in leap years). ...


On June 14 and June 22 Deep Impact observed two outbursts of activity from the comet, the latter being six times larger than the former.[10] June 14 is the 165th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (166th in leap years), with 200 days remaining. ... June 22 is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 192 days remaining. ...


On June 23, the first of the two final trajectory correct maneuvers (targeting maneuver) was successfully executed. A 6 m/s (13.4 mph) velocity change was needed to adjust the flight path towards the comet and target the impactor at a window in space about 100 kilometers wide. June 23 is the 174th day of the year (175th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 191 days remaining. ...

More images from Deep Impact can be seen on the Wikimedia Commons' Deep Impact page. Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...


Impact phase

Deep Impact comet encounter sequence
Deep Impact comet encounter sequence

Impact phase began nominally on June 29, five days before impact. The impactor successfully separated from the Flyby spacecraft at 6:00 (6:07 Ground UTC) July 3 UTC.[11][12] The first images from the instrumented Impactor were expected 2 hours after separation. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3385x1922, 377 KB) Deep Impact encounter sequence source: http://deepimpact. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3385x1922, 377 KB) Deep Impact encounter sequence source: http://deepimpact. ... June 29 is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 185 days remaining. ... July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 181 days remaining. ... It has been suggested that leap second be merged into this article or section. ...


The Flyby spacecraft performed one of two divert maneuvers to avoid damage. A 14 minute burn was executed and slowed down the spacecraft. It was also reported that the communication link between the flyby and the impactor was functioning as expected.[13]


The Impactor spacecraft executed 3 correction maneuvers in the final 2 hours before impact.[14]


Impact occurred at 05:45 UTC (05:52 Ground UTC, +/- up to 3 minutes, One-Way Light Time = 7m 26s) on the morning of July 4, within one second of the expected time for impact. July 4 is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 180 days remaining. ...


The Impactor returned images as late as three seconds before impact. Most of the data captured was stored on board the Flyby spacecraft, which radioed approximately 4500 images from the HRI, MRI, and ITS cameras to earth over the next few days.[15][16]


Impact Phase Timeline (NASA)


Results

In the post-impact briefing at 0100 Pacific Daylight Time (08:00 UTC) on July 4, 2005, the first processed images revealed existing craters on the comet. NASA scientists stated they could not see the new crater that had formed from the impactor. The only models of cometary structure they could positively rule out were the very porous models which had comets as loose aggregates of material. PDT is UTC-7 The Pacific Time Zone observes standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-8). ... ... July 4 is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 180 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Tycho crater on Earths moon. ...


Data from the mission are still being analyzed, but initial results were surprising. The material excavated by the impact contained more dust and less ice than had been expected. In addition, the material was finer than expected; scientists likened it to talcum powder rather than sand. Talc block Talc is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate with the chemical formula H2Mg3(SiO3)4 or Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. ... Patterns in the sand Sand is an example of a class of materials called granular matter. ...


Analysis of data from the Swift X-ray telescope showed that the comet continued outgassing from the impact for 13 days, with a peak five days after impact. A total of 250,000 tonnes of water was lost [2].


Future activities

NASA is considering whether to continue the Deep Impact mission by having the spacecraft fly by another comet. Comet Boethin has been mentioned as a possible target. Comet Boethin (or 85P/Boethin) is a periodic comet and the possible future target of NASAs Deep Impact comet-exploration mission. ...


On July 21, 2005 Deep Impact executed a trajectory correction maneuver that placed the spacecraft on course to fly past Earth on December 31, 2007. This maneuver will keep the options for future use of the spacecraft open. NASA will entertain requests for future use of Deep Impact through its Discovery Program. July 21 is the 202nd day (203rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 163 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) will be a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Public interest

Media coverage

This image, arguably the most striking produced by the mission was circulated widely in the media.
This image, arguably the most striking produced by the mission was circulated widely in the media.

The impact was a substantial news event reported and discussed online, in print and on television. There was a genuine suspense because experts held widely differing opinions over the result of the impact. For example, would the impactor go straight through and out the other side, would it create an impact crater, would it open up a hole into the interior of the comet, etc. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x900, 44 KB) fr : Image de limpact entre le module SMART et Tempel 1 prise par la caméra haute résolution de Deep Impact 67 secondes après limpact. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x900, 44 KB) fr : Image de limpact entre le module SMART et Tempel 1 prise par la caméra haute résolution de Deep Impact 67 secondes après limpact. ...


Experts came up with a range of soundbites to summarize the mission to the public. Iwan Williams of Queen Mary, University of London, said "It was like a mosquito hitting a 747. What we've found is that the mosquito didn't splat on the surface; it's actually gone through the windscreen." One of the NASA investigators, Dr Sunshine, explained the mission by analogy with how a geologist examines a rock: "He doesn't just look at it, he gets his hammer out and hits it, to find out about what it's like inside and how it's put together: is it a loose association of particles or is it solid?" Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) (until recently Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London and still called that in its charter and occasionally still abbreviated to QMW) is the fourth largest College of the University of London. ... The Boeing 747, commonly called a Jumbo Jet, is one of the most recognizable of all jet airliners and is the largest airliner currently in service. ...


Send Your Name To A Comet!

The mission was notable for one of its promotional activities, "Send Your Name To A Comet!". Visitors to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's website were invited to submit their name between May 2003 and January 2004, and the names gathered - some 625,000 in all - were then burnt onto a mini-CD, which was attached to the impacter.[17] This gimmick was credited with driving interest in the mission.[18]


Reaction from China

Chinese researchers used the Deep Impact mission as an opportunity to highlight the efficiency of American science because public support ensured the possibility of funding long-term research. By contrast, “in China, the public usually has no idea what our scientists are doing, and limited funding for the promotion of science weakens people’s enthusiasm for research."[19]


After the U.S. mission succeeded, China revealed a plan for what it called a "more clever" version of the mission: landing a probe on a small comet or asteroid to push it off course.[20] Asteroid, large and rocky planet , and planetoid are synonyms, and are used to indicate a diverse group of small celestial bodies that drift in the solar system in orbit around the Sun. ...


Contributions from amateur astronomers

Since observing time on large, professional telescopes such as Keck or Hubble is always scarce, the Deep Impact scientists have called on "advanced amateur, student, and professional astronomers" to use small telescopes to make long-term observations of the target comet before and after impact. The purpose of these observations is to look for "volatile outgassing, dust coma development and dust production rates, dust tail development, and jet activity and outbursts." Since 2000, amateur astronomers have submitted over a thousand CCD images of the comet.[21] The W. M. Keck Observatory is home to the two largest optical/near-infrared telescopes at the 4,145 meter (13,600 ft) summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. ... The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a telescope in orbit around the Earth, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble for his discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way and his creation of Hubbles Law, which calculates the rate at which the universe is expanding. ... A specially developed CCD used for ultraviolet imaging in a wire bonded package. ...


The comet is currently too dim to be seen with anything smaller than a large backyard telescope, but it was thought possible that the impact on July 4 could brighten the comet substantially, making it visible through binoculars toward the star Spica (visible even to the naked eye in areas with low light pollution).[22] July 4 is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 180 days remaining. ... Spica (α Vir / α Virginis / Alpha Virginis) is the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, and one of the brightest stars in the nighttime sky. ...


One Notable Amateur observation was the students of the King's School Canterbury, Kent, UK who during a press conference took images live using the Faulks Automatic Telescope in Hawaii (the students operate the telescope over the internet and were in the UK) they were one of the first groups to get images of the impact. The Kings School (founded 597) is a British Independent School (sometimes called Public School) located in Canterbury in the county of Kent. ...


One amateur astronomer reported seeing a structureless bright cloud around the comet, and an estimated 2 magnitude increase in brightness after the impact.[23] // Headline text HEY!! HOW ARE YOU ALL?? Its nice of you to come read this page. ...


Another amateur published a map of the crash area from NASA images.[24]


Musical tribute

The Deep Impact mission coincided with celebrations in the Los Angeles area marking the 50th anniversary of "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets becoming the first rock and roll single to reach No. 1 on the recording sales charts. Within 24 hours of the mission's success, a two-minute music video had been created using images of the impact itself combined with computer animation of the Deep Impact probe in flight, interspersed with footage of Bill Haley and His Comets performing in 1955 and the surviving original members of The Comets performing in March 2005. The video was posted to NASA's website for a couple of weeks afterwards. Nickname: City of Angels Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Area    - City 1,290. ... This article is about the song. ... The original members of Bill Haley and His Comets, c. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... A music video is a short film or video that accompanies a complete piece of music, most commonly a song. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On July 5, the surviving original members of The Comets (ranging in age from 71 to 84) performed a free concert for hundreds of employees of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to help them celebrate the mission's success. This event received worldwide press attention.[3] Later, in February 2006, the International Astronomical Union citation officially naming asteroid 79896 Billhaley included a reference to the JPL concert [4]. July 5 is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 179 days remaining. ... Logo of the IAU The International Astronomical Union (French: Union astronomique internationale) unites national astronomical societies from around the world. ... Asteroid, large and rocky planet , and planetoid are synonyms, and are used to indicate a diverse group of small celestial bodies that drift in the solar system in orbit around the Sun. ... 79896 Billhaley is a Main Belt asteroid previously designated 1999 BH5 which in February 2006 was renamed in honor of rock and roll pioneer Bill Haley. ...


References

  1. ^ Rosetta monitors Deep Impact. ESA Portal (2005). Retrieved on 2005-03-02.
  2. ^ NASA ANNOUNCES DEEP IMPACT FUTURE MISSION STATUS. JPL (2006). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  3. ^ Deep Impact: Technology: Instruments. JPL. Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  4. ^ Deep Impact: Mission: How Deep Impact got its name. JPL. Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  5. ^ ABC News article - link broken as of 2006-03-02
  6. ^ Deep Impact Status Report. JPL. Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  7. ^ Deep Impact's comet-watching telescope is blurred. Spaceflight Now (2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  8. ^ Than, Ker (2005). Deep Impact Team Solves Blurry Photo Problem. Space.com. Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  9. ^ NASA'S DEEP IMPACT SPACECRAFT SPOTS ITS QUARRY, STALKING BEGINS (TXT) (2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  10. ^ NASA'S DEEP IMPACT CRAFT OBSERVES MAJOR COMET 'OUTBURST'. JPL (2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  11. ^ Deep Impact homepage. Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  12. ^ Dolmetsch, Chris (2005). Deep Impact Launches Projectile to Blow Hole in Comet. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  13. ^ DEEP IMPACT STATUS REPORT. JPL (2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  14. ^ A Cyber-Astronaut's Final Moves (2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  15. ^ Nasa probe strikes Comet Tempel 1. BBC (2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  16. ^ NASA's Deep Impact Tells a Tale of the Comet. NASA (2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  17. ^ Send Your Name To A Comet (jpl.nasa.gov) (2004). Retrieved on 2006-04-19.
  18. ^ Space.com 625,000 names to be vaporised in Deep Impact (2005). Retrieved on 2006-04-19.
  19. ^ Deep impact for Chinese scientists (2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  20. ^ India Times article link broken as of 2006-03-02
  21. ^ Welcome to the Deep Impact Mission's Small Telescope Science Program. Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  22. ^ Griffithobs.org link broken as of 2006-03-02
  23. ^ Deep Impact / Tempel 1 Observation Google Groups thread
  24. ^ Jahn, Jost. My Deep Impact. Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  • "Deep Impact: Our First Look Inside a Comet." June 2005 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine, pp. 40-44.
  • "Deep Impact encounter press kit." PDF file.
  • "Deep Impact: Mission Science Q&A." NASA. [5]

  Results from FactBites:
 
05-022 (Deep Impact) (487 words)
Comet Tempel 1, source of NASA’s July 4 fireworks, is coated in a powdery layer of dust and bears evidence of other celestial collisions, according to first results from the Deep Impact mission published in Science and presented at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting.
Peter Schultz, professor of geological sciences at Brown University, was a co-investigator on the mission team.
Deep Impact, managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Maryland, aims to better understand how comets are built and what they’re made of.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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