- The Chicago Astronomer -
Copyright 2004-2014 All rights reserved by Joseph Guzman Administrator/Founder/Chief Astronomer.
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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Apr 11, 2005 1:04:00 GMT -6
Deep Impact has blurry vision, NASA says
The high-resolution telescope on Deep Impact, NASA's spacecraft that will smash into a comet, has blurry vision, the agency said Friday.
Mission managers noticed the High Resolution Instrument wasn't fully focused after they performed a bake-out, a procedure that heats up the instrument to remove moisture. Test images afterward revealed the problem.
"A special team has been formed to investigate the performance and to evaluate activities to bring the telescope the rest of the way to focus," NASA said in a status report.
The spacecraft's impactor will slam into Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, a day after its release from its mothership, giving scientists their first look at the guts of a comet.
The High Resolution Instrument on the flyby spacecraft is the largest telescope to travel to deep space. It is complemented by a medium-resolution instrument on the flyby spacecraft and a targeting sensor on the impactor. All will take images of the comet.
The $330 million mission began with a launch from Cape Canaveral Jan. 12. The craft went into "safe mode," indicating a potential problem. It emerged from safe mode and has been operating normally, on course for its collision.
The hole made by the impactor could be as big as a house or even a football stadium and may be as deep as 14 stories.
I hope we can view the impact from the troublesome optics, as I doubt anything will be visable from Chicago skies.
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jun 10, 2005 14:33:29 GMT -6
Deep Impact Team Solves Blurry Photo Problem
The scientists behind NASA’s Deep Impact mission said Thursday they hope to fix the spacecraft’s blurry vision by using a mathematical process on the images it captures after they have been transmitted to Earth.
However in March it was discovered that the Flyby spacecraft's High Resolution Instrument (HRI) was not focusing properly. The team will use a process, called deconvolution, to remedy the situation. Deconvolution is widely used in image processing and involves the reversal of the distortion created by the faulty lens of a camera or other optical devices, like a telescope or microscope.
"The process is a purely mathematical manipulation that works extremely well,” said Don Yoemans, a co-investigator for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). JPL is managing the mission for NASA.
NASA’s Deep Impact mission was designed to uncover a comet’s innards by smashing a probe into Tempel 1. After being releases from the Flyby craft, the Impactor will position itself directly in front of the speeding comet for a head on collision. The impact is schedule to occur at 1:52 a.m. EDT on July 4.
A camera onboard the roughly 820-pound copper Impactor probe will capture rare and intimate close-ups of Tempel 1’s nucleus right up to the moment of impact. The probe will slam into Tempel 1 at 23,000 miles per hour, vaporizing itself and carving out what scientists expect to be a stadium-sized stadium crater in the side of the comet.
As Impactor prepares for its kamikaze dive, Flyby will arc around and position itself for a ringside view of the explosive wallop that Impactor is expected to deal to Tempel 1.