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  • richardmitnick 7:46 am on May 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , NASA Deep Impact   

    From NAOJ: “The Deep Impact Mission Investigates the Origin of Comets” 

    NAOJ

    NAOJ

    Astrophotography・May 26, 2015
    Text by: Seiji Sugita (The University of Tokyo)
    Translation by: Ramsey Lundock (NAOJ)

    1

    Sequential photographs in the mid-infrared show the conditions from one hour to several hours after the impactor released from the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft collided with the Jovian Comet Tempel 1.

    NASA Deep Impact spacecraft
    NASA/Deep Impact spacecreft

    The red color shows carbon-rich material and green shows material rich in silicates (the main component of normal rocks). We can see that for several hours after the collision, the comet’s internal material expanded rapidly out into space, forming a fan shape. The results showed that the internal composition of Jovian (short-period) comets and long-period comets are extremely similar. This is very important data for theories about the origin of comets.

    Long-period Comets and Jovian Comets

    Long-period comets and Jovian comets differ both in terms of their momentum and in terms of the types of dust and gas which they expel. This is thought that they hail primarily from, respectively, the Oort Cloud at a distance of tens of thousands of astronomical units (au) from the Sun and the Kuiper Belt in the vicinity of 30-50 au. Whether the composition of objects is similar or different in these two very different locations is important information for understanding the origin of the Solar System.

    2
    An artist’s rendering of the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt (inset). Sizes of individual objects have been exaggerated for visibility.

    3
    Known objects in the Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Neptune (scale in AU; epoch as of January 2015).

    But it was not known whether the difference between these two species of comets is a difference in the depletion levels of gas and dust, or if it is a difference in the internal composition from the time of formation.

    To determine which is correct, it is necessary to peel off the gas-and-dust-depleted surface of a Jovian comet and observe the excavated pristine interior. This experiment was the goal of the Deep Impact Mission.

    On the night of the experiment, we watched the experiment unfold from the summit of Mauna Kea. As the activity started to subside, it came as a big surprise as pristine silicate particles, typical of long-period comets, gushed out from the interior of the Jovian comet. The interiors of both have similar compositions.

    See the full article here.

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    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) is an astronomical research organisation comprising several facilities in Japan, as well as an observatory in Hawaii. It was established in 1988 as an amalgamation of three existing research organizations – the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory of the University of Tokyo, International Latitude Observatory of Mizusawa, and a part of Research Institute of Atmospherics of Nagoya University.

    In the 2004 reform of national research organizations, NAOJ became a division of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences.

    NAOJ Subaru Telescope

    NAOJ Subaru Telescope interior
    Subaru

    ALMA Array
    ALMA

    sft
    Solar Flare Telescope

    Nobeyama Radio Telescope - Copy
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory

    Nobeyama Solar Radio Telescope Array
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory: Solar

    Misuzawa Station Japan
    Mizusawa VERA Observatory

    NAOJ Okayama Astrophysical Observatory Telescope
    Okayama Astrophysical Observatory

    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) is an astronomical research organisation comprising several facilities in Japan, as well as an observatory in Hawaii. It was established in 1988 as an amalgamation of three existing research organizations – the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory of the University of Tokyo, International Latitude Observatory of Mizusawa, and a part of Research Institute of Atmospherics of Nagoya University.

    In the 2004 reform of national research organizations, NAOJ became a division of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:35 pm on December 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , NASA Deep Impact   

    From NASA JPL: “Deep Impact Spacecraft Eyes the Future” 

    jpl

    Have you recently tuned up your car? NASA makes sure stuff works.

    “December 01, 2011

    Deep Impact Mission Status

    PASADENA, Calif. – NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft completed a 140-second firing of its onboard rocket motors on Thursday, Nov. 24. The rocket burn was performed to keep the venerable comet hunter’s options open for yet another exploration of a solar system small body.

    ‘The burn was right on the money. Not bad for a spacecraft whose prime mission successfully concluded in 2005,’ said Tim Larson, Deep Impact project manager from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We’ve logged a lot of miles and at least one comet flyby since our ’05 encounter with comet Tempel 1. With this burn, we keep the door open for Deep Impact logging even more miles and exploring more small worlds before all is said and done.”

    Last Thursday, Larson and his Deep Impact team watched from their mission support area at JPL as their spacecraft began the maneuver at 4 p.m. PST (7 p.m. EST). The spacecraft’s two-minute, 20-second burn changed its velocity by 19.7 mph (8.8 meters per second). If NASA approves a third mission extension for Deep Impact, a second rocket burn will be executed next fall.”

    Note to NASA: The recent deficit super committee debacle in Washington means possible debilitating budget cuts to D.O.E labs and NASA missions. Please get your friends and followers ready to write, email, phone, congressional representatives and senators. It’s not all High Energy Physics, Astronomy and deep rocket science. A lot of it is life saving biology and chemistry, clean renewable energy, and climate. All supported by tax dollars.

     
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