Comet Chemistry

[ UPDATE 21 November 2010here is the just released, most detailed, active comet image that we humans now possess. So long Comet Hartley 2  😦  It has been nice meeting you. ]

My fellow celestial surveyors,

Remember that recent green smudge in Cassiopeia at midnight?

Comet Hartley 2 (1 Oct 2010)

Well … this time we were lucky. The EPOXI spacecraft was just about to make a 700km closest flyby 🙂 There have been 4 previous comet flybys, but this time was much different: both high resolution AND a very active surface, leading to this stunning image:

Comet Hartley 2 - 4 November 2010

Do you dare to get a bit closer?  

Comet Hartley 2

See all the amazing EPOXI Hartley 2 images here and

… watch the dizzying EPOXI flyby video too… if you dare!

Amazed Brady

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One Response to Comet Chemistry

  1. Thanks for the excellent image that was taken of Comet Hartley 2 on 4 November 2010.

    The obvious layers of material are intriguing!

    I suspect that the highly elliptical trajectories of comets were established in the very birth of the Solar System from an explosion of the Sun’s precursor star:

    Could the layers be material acquired as the object moved successively through the inner (Fe/O/Si/Ni/S-rich) and outer (H/He/C/N-rich) regions of the Solar System?

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

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