Hospitals & Asylums
Newsletter for the Deep Impact mission
Issue #21, April 2005
The Deep Impact twin spacecraft spent their third month heading toward Comet Tempel 1. Having finished the Commissioning Phase of the mission, the team now continues Cruise Phase. What are "Commissioning", "Cruise Phase" and the Deep Impact mission, you ask? Read this month's newsletter below and take a look at our mission web sites at:
PICTURE THIS! NOW YOU SEE IT...!
In March, this picture was taken of Comet Tempel 1 as it began to develop a dusty halo around its nucleus. This halo, called a coma, forms as a comet approaches the Sun and its nucleus's surface heats releasing jets of gas and dust.
Find out more about how that coma forms on a comet:
Comets are visible for two reasons. Dust driven from a comet's nucleus reflects sunlight as it travels through space. Secondly, certain gases, stimulated by the sun, give off light like flourescent light bulbs. Over time a comet may become less active or even dormant. Scientists are anxious to learn whether comets exhaust their supply of gas and ice to space or seal it into their interiors. What is the difference between the interior of a comet's nucleus and its surface? Controlled cratering like that planned for Deep Impact allows a look deep into the interior of the comet. Investigators anticipate that a look inside comet Tempel 1 will unlock the treasures a comet has to offer.
Comet Tempel 1 was discovered in 1867. Although few physical data are available, it appears to be a comet with relatively little surface activity. Orbiting the sun every 5.5 years, it has probably made more than one hundred passages through the inner solar system. This makes it a good target to study evolutionary change in the mantle or upper crust of the comet. Studies of brightness variations with time indicate that the comet rotates much more slowly than Earth. Its rotation will not take the impact crater out of the spacecraft's field of view during the encounter period.
THE LATEST ON DEEP
The Deep Impact mission finished Commission Phase and moves on to Cruise Phase. Read about the team's activities only months away from encounter with Comet Tempel 1.
AND PICTURE THIS! DOWN TO EARTH
Last month we showed you images of Jupiter taken by the Deep Impact spacecraft's imaging instruments during testing in space. This month, we get a little more "down to earth" by showing you a simulation of our own planet, specifically, the side of Earth that will be able to watch impact between the spacecraft and Comet Tempel 1 in July.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL - MEET DR. LUCY MCFADDEN
When Lucy was in college, she chose a class because she couldn't understand what radios and astronomy had to do with each other. The answer helped lead her to a position as a science team member on Deep Impact. Lucy thinks you shouldn't be afraid to ask questions - so let's ask her a few.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT - COMET SNACKS THAT TEACH SCIENCE
Hey Kids, take a look at yummy snacks you can have fun making with your family, school or whole community. You'll learn about comets, too! This would be very cooool for your next carnival or community event.
QUESTIONS FROM YOU - WHAT WILL WE SEE DURING ENCOUNTER?
Less than 3 months from encounter with Comet Tempel 1, this is the question we get most often. So, we dedicated a whole section or our web site to give you answers. Here is the: who, what, where, and when, about observing Deep Impact in July 2005.
SPRECHEN SIE DEUTCH?
Möchten sie die Deep Impact Mission in Deutsch lesen, schauen sie sich das Merkblatt an.
For a web page about Deep Impact in German, check out:
FOR EDUCATORS - YOUR STUDENTS CAN DO HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES THAT CONNECT THEM TO REAL-LIFE SPACE EVENTS.
An independent evaluation group, Magnolia Consulting, is currently seeking educators in both formal and informal settings to implement various educational modules related to NASA's Deep Impact mission. The materials apply to a range of student grades, from elementary through high school and implementation would occur over a 1-3 week period this spring. Take a look at the details:
HAPPENINGS IN HAWAII
The Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center will sponsor an educator workshop combining the history of navigation in Hawaii and the science of the Deep Impact mission during the last week of June 2005. To find out more about "Astro-vaganza", check their web site at:
DID YOU SEE OUR PAST DEEP NEWS ISSUES?
Visit http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov/newsletter/archive.html to catch up on exciting past news from the Deep Impact mission.
Deep Impact is a Discovery mission. For more information on the Discovery Program, visit:
The Deep Impact mission is a partnership among the University of Maryland (UMD), the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp (BATC). Deep Impact is a NASA Discovery mission, eighth in a series of low-cost, highly focused space science investigations. See http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov or our mirror site at http://deepimpact.umd.edu .
Send this email along to your friends. If you received this newsletter from a friend, you can subscribe here: http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov/newsletter/signup.html
To unsubscribe, follow the instructions at the URL above.
QUESTIONS ABOUT DEEP NEWS? CONTACT US AT: