Friday, November 5, 2010

"Great Cometary Data" -- Flyby Gives Insight into Hartley 2's Structure

Yesterday, November 4, the EPOXI spacecraft operated by the American space agency flew close to the surface of the Comet Hartley 2, collecting images as it went along, and providing experts with new insight into how the space object looks and behaves like.

The point of closest approach was reached at 10 am EDT (1400 GMT) Thursday, when the probe passed some 700 kilometers away from the surface of the comet.

Some of the most important traits that were analyzed included the volume of the body, as well as an analysis of the material spewing from its surface, and into space. 
"Those early images may not be the 'money shot', but we on the science team will prize them just as well, as they will help up further understand the nature of comets", said EPOXI principal investigator Mike A'Hearn of the University of Maryland, College Park, in a NASA statement. "We certainly have our hands full.  The images are just full of great cometary data, and that's what we hoped for." 

"Hyperactive", "feisty" comet, Hartley 2

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