DEEP IMPACT: Copper Bullet against Cold Rock... Jan 14, 2005 0:58:00 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jan 14, 2005 0:58:00 GMT -6
9P-Temple 1/Deep Impact Statistics
I desired to know more of the intricate details of the mission, did some research and this is what I learned.
* 9P/Tempel 1 was discovered by E.W.L (Wilhelm) Tempel in France on 3 April 1867 and has had its orbit altered since by encounters with Jupiter.
Temple 1 position at Launch date
Temple 1 postion at Impact Date
Temple 1's orbit is "tilted" 10.5 Degrees in relation to the plane of the Solar System
* Comet Temple 1 will be about 84,000,000 miles away on 4 July 2005. The delay from the speed of light in seeing any event will be about 7.5 minutes
* Tempel 1 is a potato-shaped comet about 5 1/2 miles long and perhaps two miles across, remains mostly between Mars and Jupiter in a 5.5-year elliptical orbit about the sun and rotates once every 41 hours.
* The 770 pound solid Copper impactor, (size of a bushel basket), will be released from the flyby spacecraft. Moving at speeds up to 22,300 MPH...about at a velocity 10 times that of a rifle bullet - Mission planners say the energy produced will be like 4.5 tons of TNT going off – producing a fireworks display for the world's observatories - it will kick up enough "dust" that it should easily be a visible naked eye comet right afterwards
* The comet is going MUCH faster than the probe, so the probe really isn't smashing into the comet as much as the comet is going to run into
* A mission that would have sent a probe to comet Tempel 1 had been postponed indefinitely. This mission, the first of it's kind, would have landed on the comet in 2005. Unfortunately, other projects have used up the money available for the program. This is the first time a mission has been scratched in 10 years
* Is a mere $330 million mission
* The Spacecraft/mothership is the size of a Washing Machine and weighs 1,325-pounds
* Cameras on the Impactor and on the mother ship will image the entire event
Mission to Comet Temple 1 is underway!...
The Deep Impact mission has successfully launched and it's on it's way to knock out a chunk of a regular space visitor. What will the outcome be, will it shatter the comet, will it alter the comet's orbit...or will it just gouge out a stadium sized hole on the surface with no other alterations?
We shall soon see...but I seem to remember Sir Issac Newton's Law's of Motion...even if it's just a small tap.