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Deep Impact
Deep Impact
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Deep Impact Mission Science Technology Mission Results Gallery Education Discovery Zone Your Community Press Gallery - Videos & Animations

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Science Results | Encounter Phase | About the Mission
Preview of Encounter | About the Science


SCIENCE RESULTS

Sequence of Approach Images - Sequence of images obtained roughly every 4 hours from June 10 through July 3. This sequence shows the changes in the comet as a function of time, as well as a function of the changing range of the spacecraft. The rotational arc can be seen expanding to the south (where North is roughly up and east is to the left).
 
Rotational Sequence - Series of 11 images from June 27 that show a full rotation of the nucleus. These images have been looped to simulate several rotations. The rotation period of the nucleus is about 41 hours.
 
Sequence of Approach Images screen shot Sequence of Approach Images screen shot   Rotational Sequence screen shot Rotational Sequence screen shot
NOTE: In both of the above sequences, the date of each frame is listed in the upper right, and the yellow bar along the bottom shows the rotational phase of the nucleus for that particular frame. The phase has been defined such that zero phase is the time of impact. The individual images have been enhanced to improve the contrast of the coma, to reveal the jet structures.

Limb Jet Sequence - Series of images showing the limb jets appearing and disappearing as they pass over the horizon. (The motion is due to the spacecraft's passage underneath the nucleus.) The sequence runs forward and backward, and can be looped to show the jets as the nucleus rocks back and forth.
 
Deep Impact: Cratering a Comet to Release Our Past - Presented by Dr. Don Yeomans.
 
Limb Jet Sequence screen shot Limb Jet Sequence screen shot   Cratering a Comet to Release Our Past Screen Shot Cratering a Comet to Release Our Past Screen Shot

ENCOUNTER PHASE

Tempel Fades into Night - This movie is made up of images taken by Deep Impact's flyby spacecraft after it turned around to capture last shots of a receding comet Tempel 1.
Tempel Fades into Night Screen Shot Tempel Fades into Night Screen Shot

Capturing the Flash (HRI movie) - This movie taken by Deep Impact's flyby spacecraft shows the flash that occurred when comet Tempel 1 ran over the spacecraft's probe. It was taken by the flyby craft's high-resolution camera over a period of about 40 seconds. The image has been digitally processed to enhance the view of the comet's nucleus.
 
Impactor No More (MRI Movie) - This movie taken by Deep Impact's flyby spacecraft shows the flash that occurred when comet Tempel 1 ran over the spacecraft's probe. It was taken by the flyby craft's medium-resolution camera.
 
Capturing the Flash screen shot Capturing the Flash screen shot   Impactor No More Screen Shot Impactor No More Screen Shot

One-Way Trip to Tempel (ITS movie) - This movie shows Deep Impact's impactor probe approaching comet Tempel 1. It is made up of images taken by the probe's impactor targeting sensor.
 
We're Going In! - This movie shows Deep Impact's impactor probe approaching comet Tempel 1. It is made up of images taken by the probe's impactor targeting sensor.
 
One-Way Trip to Tempel screen shot One-Way Trip to Tempel screen shot   We're Going In! Screen Shot We're Going In! Screen Shot

Journey to a Comet (MRI movie) - This movie shows Deep Impact's approach to comet Tempel 1. The spacecraft detected three outbursts during this time period, on June 14, June 22 and July 2.
 
Encounter Animation - This animation shows a conceptualized view of Deep Impact's encounter with comet Tempel 1.
Short and long versions available.
 
Journey to a Comet (MRI movie) screen shot Journey to a Comet (MRI movie) screen shot   Encounter Animation Screen Shot Encounter Animation Screen Shot

ABOUT THE MISSION

See updates, launch and construction of the spacecraft.
The Mission - There's nothing subtle about Deep Impact. The mission is attempting to bring a spacecraft and a comet together at truly out-of-this-world speeds so we can learn about the interior of a comet.
 
About Deep Impact - Team interviews, images and animations give an overview of the Deep Impact mission. (Requires Flash)
 
The Mission Animation Screen Shot The Mission Animation Screen Shot   The Mission Flash Feature Screen Shot The Mission Flash Feature Screen Shot

Deep Impact Mission Log - Learn what the mission team is doing to prepare for its July 4 encounter with comet Tempel 1.
 
Deep Impact Launch - The Deep Impact spacecraft launched successfully from Cape Canaveral Florida on January 12th, 2005 at 1:47 PM EST. If you missed seeing it in person, here is your chance to view it.
 
Deep Impact Mission Log Screen Shot Deep Impact Mission Log Screen Shot   Deep Impact Launch Screen Shot Deep Impact Launch Screen Shot

Deep Impact Arrives at KSC - The Deep Impact spacecraft took the first step toward its journey to comet Tempel 1 when it arrived in Florida in October.
 
360 Degree View of Deep Impact in the Clean Room - This 360 degree view shows the Clean Room where our spacecraft and instruments are being built.
 
Deep Impact Arrives at KSC   360 Degree View Screen Shot 360 Degree View Screen Shot

3D Model of Deep Impact
 
Deep Impact Launch Vehicle Separation Sequence - The following simulation shows the Deep Impact launch vehicle separation and initialization sequence.
 
3D Model Screen Shot 3D Model Screen Shot   Movie 5 Screen Shot Movie 5 Screen Shot

Encounter Animation 1
This animation shows Deep Impact's journey to Comet Tempel 1 including the separation of the impactor from the spacecraft and the way the impactor targets its path to the comet.
 
Encounter Animation 2
Once you've seen animation #1, take a look at a side view that shows how the flyby spacecraft releases the impactor into the path of the comet.
 
Movie 1 Screen Shot Movie 1 Screen Shot   Movie 2 Screen Shot Movie 2 Screen Shot

PREVIEW OF THE ENCOUNTER

The Road to Tempel - This animation chronicles the travels of Deep Impact, from its launch in January of 2005 to its dramatic impact 172 days later with comet Tempel 1.
 
A Comet Impact Simulation - Deep Impact is a daring mission, and what's great about this one is that this is the beginning of cometary geology.
 
The Road to Tempel Screen Shot The Road to Tempel Screen Shot   Rehearsing the Encounter Screen Shot Rehearsing the Encounter Screen Shot

Rehearsing the Encounter - Flying a tiny spacecraft to a comet millions of miles away is an incredibly difficult challenge. The Deep Impact team performs simulations and operational readiness tests to be prepared for the evening of the comet encounter.
 
Air Gun Experiment - This video shows an impact experiment of a high-speed impact into a frozen comet-like material (dust, ice, window cleaner and Worcestershire sauce) over a highly porous target (garden perlite).
 
Rehearsing the Encounter Screen Shot Rehearsing the Encounter Screen Shot   Air Gun Experiment Screen Shot Air Gun Experiment Screen Shot

Pumice Impact Test (Side View) - High-speed image sequence viewed from the side of a high velocity impact test into highly porous target of fine dust particles.
 
Pumice Impact Test (Top View) - High-speed image sequence viewed from above of a high velocity impact test into highly porous target of fine dust particles.
 
Movie 4 Screen Shot Movie 4 Screen Shot   Movie 3 Screen Shot Movie 3 Screen Shot

What will the Medium Resolution Instrument see? - This animation is a computer generated model of what the Medium Resolution Instrument (MRI) should see during encounter with Comet Tempel 1.
 
What will the High Resolution Instrument see? - This animation is a computer generated model of what the High Resolution Instrument (HRI) should see during encounter with Comet Tempel 1.
 
 
MRI Flyby 1 Screen Shot MRI Flyby 1 Screen Shot   HRI Flyby 1 Screen Shot HRI Flyby 1 Screen Shot

ABOUT THE SCIENCE

Learn more about comets and the science objectives for Deep Impact
Genesis of a Comet - This artist's animation depicts one of the most widely accepted theories pertaining to the origin of comets.
 
Space Telescopes See Comet Tempel 1 - Deep Impact will help us understand more about the solar system's most beautiful celestial nomads -- comets. These dirty ice balls are important for understanding how the outer solar system formed and how the ingredients of life were brought to Earth.
 
Genesis of a Comet Screen Shot Genesis of a Comet Screen Shot   Space Telescopes See Comet Tempel 1 Screen Shot Space Telescopes See Comet Tempel 1 Screen Shot

Ground-Based Observations of Comet 9/P Tempel 1 - This animation shows the various observatories on the ground that will successively observe the comet after the impact.
Courtesy of ESO.
 
Digging Out the Science - Deep Impact will help us understand more about the solar system's most beautiful celestial nomads -- comets. These dirty ice balls are important for understanding how the outer solar system formed and how the ingredients of life were brought to Earth.
 
Ground-Based Observations of Comet 9/P Tempel 1 Ground-Based Observations of Comet 9/P Tempel 1   Digging Out the Science Screen Shot Digging Out the Science Screen Shot

A Cometary 'Sneeze' - NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft have observed a massive, short-lived outburst of ice or other particles from comet Tempel 1 that temporarily expanded the size and reflectivity of the cloud of dust and gas (coma) that surrounds the comet nucleus.
 
Comets and Snowballs - Dr. Don Yeomans explains the similarities between the two, and how this affects the Deep Impact mission.
 
A Cometary 'Sneeze' Screen Shot A Cometary 'Sneeze' Screen Shot   Comets and Snowballs Screen Shot

 

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