Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now Join Now!

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

   Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Deep Impact's encounter with Hartley 2 is beginning; flyby in 17 hours

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

03-11-2010 15:39 CDT

Topics:

According to the mission timeline, the Deep Impact high-resolution observations of Hartley 2 are beginning in just a few minutes, at 20:50 according to the clock on the spacecraft.* All data are being stored onboard for relay to Earth over a period that'll span days after the flyby. Despite the fact that the flyby is only 17 hours away, Deep Impact can still not see the ball of ice and dirt that is at the center of all this cometary activity. In fact, it won't resolve details on the surface of the comet's nucleus until about an hour before its closest approach! In the meantime, though, the comet is making a fantastic show for the spacecraft to watch. Here's a quick animation made of four images from the Deep Impact website, the most recent of which is from Monday.

Approaching Hartley 2

NASA / JPL / UMD / animation by Emily Lakdawalla

Approaching Hartley 2
Four images captured at about 09:20 every day for four days from October 29 to November 1 document the increasing brightness of Hartley 2 against the background star field as seen from Deep Impact, which was approaching for its November 4 flyby. The images have been rotated to align them.
I'm planning on being at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory incredibly early in my morning tomorrow, showing up around 6:00 a.m. my time (13:00 UTC). I'll be Tweeting events as they happen, and blogging as quickly as I can after the fact.

* (Apologies to those of you on Twitter for my one-hour premature Tweet on this event. I copied a number from the Deep Impact website that was off by one hour.)

 
See other posts from November 2010

 

Or read more blog entries about:

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

LightSail - Flight by Light

Support LightSail!

In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.

I want to help!

Featured Images

The Face of a Comet

Antares
Hayabusa 2 and DCAM3
Hayabusa 2 at Gate Position
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!