Comet Tempel 1 from Palomar Observatory


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The contrast-enhanced 1.7 micron images shown above are from the night of the impact (left) and two nights after (right). The top images are unsharp-masked images, and the bottom are azimuthally averaged. Both sets show extentions to the south of the comet's center. The first set of images, taken approximately 40 minutes after impact, shows a possible dust-coma extension likely within ~0.8 arc-seconds (about 320km) of the comet's center, originating from the site of the probe's final demise. The second set of images, taken nearly 2 days later, shows a similar feature. The comet impact site has by this time rotated back into view, and the extension, within ~0.5 arcsec (about 200 km) of the comet's photo-center, is likely indicative of outburst activity still taking place near the region of the impact.

  • Press release on Deep Impact observations



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    This set of images of Comet Tempel-1 was taken as the impactor on NASA's Deep Mission crashed into the comet. Using the Caltech 200-inch Hale Telescope with adaptive optics, a team of JPL and Caltech astronomers and engineers made measurements before, during (outlined in red), and after the collision. For this color intensity map, white represents most intense light from the comet, and the contours show regions of constant brighness. The innermost contour on each frame indicates peak brightness of the comet before impact (upper left), and the remaining contours scale down to the background.

    The size of the pre-impact brightest contour increases, and the central region becomes even brighter within the larger radius of that innermost contour.

    In addition, there is evidence in the post-impact images of protrusions to the upper left and at the bottom. Data taken and processed by James Bauer (JPL) and Bidushi Bhattacharya (Spitzer Science Center, Caltech).

    The images shown below were taken over a time span of a few minutes following the collision. They were obtained by James Bauer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Bidushi Bhattacharya of the California Institute of Technology's (Caltech) Spitzer Science Center.

    Image 1     Image 2     Image 3     Image 4     Image 5


    This 3 frame movie of Comet Tempel 1 shows its rapid brightening shortly after the Deep Impact collision event. The images were taken with the 200-inch Hale Telescope July 3, 2005 by James Bauer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Bidushi Bhattacharya of the Caltech Spitzer Space Science Center. Each frame was a 100 second exposure in the near-infrared wavelength known as "Ks" which is centered at 2.150 microns in wavelength.


    Astronomers and engineers in the Hale Telescope's data room witness the dramatic brightening of the comet, less than one minute after the collision of the Deep Impact probe. Shown from left to right are Jeff Hickey, Mitchell Troy, Bidushi Bhattacharya, Rick Burruss, and James Bauer. Also present, but not shown, were Antonin Bouchez, Richard Dekany, Richard Ellis, Steve Guiwits, Jennifer Roberts, Chris Shelton, Viswa Velur, Karl Dunscombe, and Jean Mueller.



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    This set of images of Comet Tempel-1 was taken as the impactor on NASA's Deep Mission crashed into the comet. Using the Caltech 200-inch Hale Telescope with adaptive optics, a team of JPL and Caltech astronomers and engineers made measurements before and after the collision at a wavelength 1.7 micrometers, detecting near-infrared light. For this color intensity map, white represents most intense light from the comet, and the contours show regions of constant brighness. The innermost contour on each frame indicates peak brightness of the comet before impact (upper left), and the remaining contours scale down to the background.

    The size of the pre-impact brightest contour increases, and the central region becomes even brighter within the larger radius of that innermost contour. In addition, there is evidence in the post-impact images of protrusions to the upper left and at the bottom. Data taken and processed by James Bauer (JPL) and Bidushi Bhattacharya (Spitzer Space Science Center, Caltech).

    See also, 'We Hit It!' Written by Linda Vu, Spitzer Science Center


    Before the Crash Comet - Tempel 1 photographed by the 200-inch Hale Telescope July 2, 2005

    The image was recorded in three near-infrared wavelengths: "J" centered at 1.250 microns, "H" at 1.635 microns, and "Ks" at 2.150. The J image was mapped to blue, H to green and Ks to red to make the color image. One pixel equals 0.04 arcseconds.

    Observers James Bauer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Bidushi Bhattacharya of Caltech's Spitzer Space Science Center

     


    The BBC's Sky at Night came to the Palomar Observatory to cover the Deep Impact event. Here is a direct link to their show.


    The Hale Telescope photograped the Deep Impact probe shortly after it was launched from Earth.
    Click Here to read about it.