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NASA Releases Images of Man-Made Crater on Comet
your tax dollars ^ | hoy

Posted on 02/15/2011 5:54:43 PM PST by BenLurkin

NASA's Stardust spacecraft returned new images of a comet showing a scar resulting from the 2005 Deep Impact mission. The images also showed the comet has a fragile and weak nucleus.

The spacecraft made its closest approach to comet Tempel 1 on Monday, Feb. 14, at 8:40 p.m. PST (11:40 p.m. EST) at a distance of approximately 178 kilometers (111 miles). Stardust took 72 high-resolution images of the comet. It also accumulated 468 kilobytes of data about the dust in its coma, the cloud that is a comet's atmosphere. The craft is on its second mission of exploration called Stardust-NExT, having completed its prime mission collecting cometary particles and returning them to Earth in 2006.

The Stardust-NExT mission met its goals, which included observing surface features that changed in areas previously seen during the 2005 Deep Impact mission; imaging new terrain; and viewing the crater generated when the 2005 mission propelled an impactor at the comet.

"This mission is 100 percent successful," said Joe Veverka, Stardust-NExT principal investigator of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. "We saw a lot of new things that we didn't expect, and we'll be working hard to figure out what Tempel 1 is trying to tell us."

Several of the images provide tantalizing clues to the result of the Deep Impact mission's collision with Tempel 1. "We see a crater with a small mound in the center, and it appears that some of the ejecta went up and came right back down," said Pete Schultz of Brown University, Providence, R.I. "This tells us this cometary nucleus is fragile and weak based on how subdued the crater is we see today."

Engineering telemetry downlinked after closest approach indicates the spacecraft flew through waves of disintegrating cometary particles, including a dozen impacts that penetrated more than one layer of its protective shielding.

"The data indicate Stardust went through something similar to a B-17 bomber flying through flak in World War II," said Don Brownlee, Stardust-NExT co-investigator from the University of Washington in Seattle. "Instead of having a little stream of uniform particles coming out, they apparently came out in chunks and crumbled."

While the Valentine's Day night encounter of Tempel 1 is complete, the spacecraft will continue to look at its latest cometary obsession from afar.

"This spacecraft has logged over 3.5 billion miles since launch, and while its last close encounter is complete, its mission of discovery is not," said Tim Larson, Stardust-NExT project manager at JPL. "We'll continue imaging the comet as long as the science team can gain useful information, and then Stardust will get its well-deserved rest."

Stardust-NExT is a low-cost mission that is expanding the investigation of comet Tempel 1 initiated by the Deep Impact spacecraft. The mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft and manages day-to-day mission operations.

The latest Stardust-Next/Tempel 1 images are online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stardust/multimedia/gallery-index.html.


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: 2005; 20110214; catastrophism; deepimpact; stardust; stardustnext; tempel1

1 posted on 02/15/2011 5:54:47 PM PST by BenLurkin
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2 posted on 02/15/2011 5:55:20 PM PST by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: SunkenCiv

/mark


3 posted on 02/15/2011 5:59:11 PM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: BenLurkin

Gotta admit - it’s pretty cool when you can shoot a rocket off and hit a comet.


4 posted on 02/15/2011 6:01:31 PM PST by BobL (PLEASE READ: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2657811/posts)
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To: BenLurkin

Oh yea. .I see it. .all those yellow arrows on the rock. .they weren’t there before. . wow!


5 posted on 02/15/2011 6:02:39 PM PST by McBuff
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To: BenLurkin

It looks like the Gorn’s face.


6 posted on 02/15/2011 6:03:15 PM PST by rfp1234 (Le Parti du The'. Ne marchez pas sur moi!)
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To: SunkenCiv

pong


7 posted on 02/15/2011 6:20:33 PM PST by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: rfp1234

8 posted on 02/15/2011 6:23:15 PM PST by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: BenLurkin

LOL! Muslims at NASA figure out how to use Photoshop.


9 posted on 02/15/2011 6:25:34 PM PST by Frantzie (HD TV - Total Brain-washing now in High Def. 3-D Coming soon)
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To: BenLurkin

Was this mission in accordance with Islamic law? Were any women involved?


10 posted on 02/15/2011 6:38:01 PM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: BenLurkin
Cool. Interesting spatter of the highway-yellow impact marker!       ;^)
11 posted on 02/15/2011 11:56:42 PM PST by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !!)
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To: KoRn; BenLurkin; 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; ...

Thanks for the pings. The Deep Impact mission during the previous rendezvous was condemned by none other than Brian May, former guitarist for Queen.
 
Catastrophism
 
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12 posted on 02/16/2011 5:56:41 PM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: BenLurkin; SunkenCiv
. . . tax dollars? . . . hmmmmmmm . . .

I think I have a pic for that . . .

Photobucket

13 posted on 02/16/2011 6:24:12 PM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: SunkenCiv

FYI I did some of the testing on the guidance system for the Deep Impact probe. Nice to think I get paid for something useful.


14 posted on 02/16/2011 6:28:08 PM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Really! Pretty cool!


15 posted on 02/17/2011 3:55:04 AM PST by MaryFromMichigan
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To: McBuff

Evidence of extra terrestrial Indians?


16 posted on 02/18/2011 4:41:10 AM PST by TN4Liberty (My tagline disappeared so this is my new one.)
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