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Meteors, Asteroids and Comets
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The 200-inch (5.1 m) Hale Telescope (f/3.3) was the world's largest effective telescope for 45 years (1948 - 1993). It is still a workhorse of modern astronomy. It is used nightly for a wide range of astronomical studies. On average the weather allows for at least some data collection about 290 nights a year. Credit: Caltech
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Before the Crash Comet - Tempel 1 photographed by the 200-inch Hale Telescope July 2, 2005
Credit:Caltech's Spitzer Space Science Center
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The images shown above are from the night of the impact (left) and two nights after (right). 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 originating from the site of the probe's final demise. The second set of images, taken nearly 2 days later, shows a similar feature. Credit: Caltech
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The Haughton-Mars project base camp viewed from the airstrip as it first appeared to the summer 2003 team.
(Photo: NASA Haughton-Mars Project)
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Devon Island and the Haughton Crater are located 180 km northeast of Resolute Bay.
(Image: NASA)
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Artist's conception shows twin moonlets, Romulus and Remus, orbiting the large main-belt asteroid 87 Sylvia. (Image courtesy European Southern Observatory)
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Photograph of the asteroid 87 Sylvia, recorded Aug. 9, 2004, using the Very Large Telescope at Cerro Paranal of the European Southern Observatory, shows a pair of smaller moonlets to the left of the primary body. (Courtesy Franck Marchis/UC Berkeley and VLT)
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The asteroid's dust trail as seen by lidar at Davis, Antarctica. The plot shows the strength of the vertical laser light scattered back from the atmosphere as a function of time and altitude above mean sea level. The dust trail, blown by the stratospheric winds, moved through the beam.
Credit: Sandia National Laboratories
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Comet Tempel 1. Arrows a and b point to large, smooth regions. The impact site is indicated by the third large arrow. Small arrows highlight a scarp that is bright due to illumination angle, which shows the smooth area to be elevated above the extremely rough terrain. The scale bar is 1 km and the two arrows above the nucleus point to the sun and the rotational axis of the nucleus. Celestial north is near the rotational pole. Credit: NASA/JPL/UMd
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took these images of the asteroid 1 Ceres
over a 2-hour and 20-minute span, the time it takes the Texas-sized object
to complete one quarter of a rotation. One day on Ceres lasts 9 hours.
Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Parker(Southwest Research Institute), P. Thomas
(Cornell University). and L. McFadden (University of Maryland, College Park)
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Hubble image of Ceres, the largest astroid in the main asteroid belt,
compared with four other asteroids (Gaspra, Eros, Ida and Vesta) and Mars.
Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)
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Comet ingredients.
Credit: Spitzer/JPL
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Credit: NASA ARC
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This is an image of the lunar highlands from the Consolidated Lunar Atlas, which was produced during the Apollo Era by the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. The new study by Strom, Malhotra, Kring and their Japanese colleagues indicates this terrain was bombarded mostly by asteroids - not comets - that were flung into the inner solar system when the asteroid belt was destabilized by migrating giant planets. The Earth was similarly bombarded but geological activity has erased most evidence of that bombardment. This historical image of the heavily cratered lunar terrain was taken on 1 April 1966. (Photo courtesy of LPL Space Imagery Center)
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Slab of granite from the Vredefort Crater. This slab was originally located beneath the earth's surface 2.02 billion years ago when a 20 km diameter asteroid or comet crashed into the earth.
Credit: University of Arizona
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Olivine particles from the Green Sand Beach in Hawaii. Credit: NASA
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Ejecta plume from Tempel 1, 13 seconds after impact. Credit: ESA
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Outburst from Comet 9P/Tempel 1 as seen from Hubble. Credit: ESA
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Hayabusa
Credit: ISAS
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Hayabusa's flight paths
Credit: ISAS
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Hayabusa's tiny robot lander Minerva Credit: ISAS
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Hayabusa target marker on Itokawa.
Credit: ISAS
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Scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), and Charles University in the Czech Republic have shown that the breakup of the 100-mile-wide asteroid called Veritas blanketed the Earth with an exceptionally large volume of extraterrestrial dust. Using computer models to track the orbits of the asteroid fragments backwards in time, they found that 8.2 million years ago, all of its fragments shared the same orbital orientation in space. This event coincides with a spike in interplanetary dust in seafloor sediments.
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The three small areas of water ice on the surface of Tempel 1 appear in this image, taken by an instrument aboard NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft. [Photo: NASA]
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stardust crystal
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Image taken with the UH 2.2-meter telescope by H. Hsieh and D. Jewitt (Univ. Hawaii).
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Orbits of the 3 known main-belt comets (red lines), the 5 innermost planets (black lines; from the center outward, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter), a sample of 100 main-belt asteroids (orange lines), and 2 "typical" comets (Halley's Comet, and Tempel 1, target of the recent Deep Impact mission) as blue lines. Positions of the main-belt comets and planets on March 1, 2006, are plotted with black dots. Image courtesy of Pedro Lacerda (Univ. Hawaii; Univ. Coimbra, Portugal)
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Images of the three known main-belt comets (at center of each panel). Other objects shown are stars and galaxies smeared by the motion of the telescope while tracking each comet. Images taken with the UH 2.2-meter telescope by H. Hsieh and D. Jewitt (Univ. Hawaii).
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The analysis of the X-ray behaviour by the Swift team indicates that the
collision produced an extended X-ray outburst largely because the amount of
water produced by the comet had increased. Credit: University of Leicester
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Too close for comfort. Credit: ESA
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Luckily impacts with very large asteroids are uncommon. Credit: ESA
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Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Credit: ESA
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