NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

Summary: Originally named Deep Impact, NASA's Epoxi spacecraft had a close encounter with comet Hartley 2 - but didn't drop a bomb this time.

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TOPICS: Nasa / Space
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  • Originally named Deep Impact, NASA's Epoxi spacecraft made a close encounter with comet Hartley 2 - but this time it didn't send a bomb to explode on its surface. The spacecraft made its closest approach to the comet, about 435 miles, today after having traveled 23 million miles to find it.

    Hartley 2 is about 1.2 miles long and is .25 miles wide at its most narrow portion. Jets of gases are streaming from the nucleus.

    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD

  • More of comet Hartley 2.

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Topic: Nasa / Space

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21 comments
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  • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

    This mass of this comet falls within the "planet killer" size that could bring a swift and devastating end to humanity. NASA dollars spent to on identifying, classifying, plotting and forecasting probable "imapct events" would be dollars well spent.
    lancevieau@...
    • They are

      @lancevieau@...

      THANK GOD!
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

    @lancevieau - mass extinctions come and go; just lie back and let the next one happen. It would be fun to bet on whether the tea party or an extraterrestrial object gets there first;-). If the comet wins, I want to be on the side of the Earth that has the best view.
    Daddy Tadpole
  • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

    The Jewish tradition is that the era of humankind is about 6000 years, and that we are 5771 years into it. Whether it is a comet, asteroid, nuclear winter, pollution, or volcano that ends the era hardly matters, except that it is within humankind's capability to prevent all but the last.

    Until there is serious interest in extraterrestrial colonization, NASA's mission should be protecting Earth from objects in space, rather than humans playing around in space.
    dakra137
    • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

      @dakra137
      What happens in 229 years if that doesn't happen.

      the bible scholars said the world was going to end in 1999, the people betting on the mayan calendar say 2012, reglion predicted the end of man kind several times in the past and was wrong each time.
      Xyberviri
      • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

        @Xyberviri "the bible scholars said the world was going to end in 1999"

        Probably self-proclaimed "scholars" and didn't really know that much about the Bible. From what I've gathered, no serious biblical scholar sets a firm date, because no firm date exists in the Bible.
        CobraA1
    • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

      @dakra137
      I was raised Jewish, Bar Mitzvah'd at 13, and no one ever told me that "the era of humankind is about 6000 years". Don't know who made that one up, but it's complete "hooey", as is all that nonsense regarding the Mayans and 2012.
      omb00900@...
  • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

    We saw something very much like this, [texture, but more round], go by in the sky overhead in Shediac New Brunswick in July or August of 1962.

    The night was moonless black and then the sky lightened just as if the moon was rising. It was not the moon however, but it was this comet or meteor or whatever and it reflected light just as the moon would do.

    Travelling from south to north, the speed was very fast and there was a jet like sound following it's passing overhead.

    Guess it never landed up north, 'cause we are all still here. TG

    PS: Frustrating thing: No one else saw it..or had the guts to admit seeing it. Do we really care if people say ' we must be nuts??'
    TonyGuitar
    • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

      @TonyGuitar Can't be a comet if you have sound since it does not enter the atmosphere (which you need to transmit sound). Must have been a meteor...
      minardi
    • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

      @TonyGuitar - it was likely a large fireball meteor -- or in astronomical terms, a bolide. Meteors that large usually occur a few times a year around the world -- nowadays with the large number of webcams, video cameras and mobile phone cameras, they're frequently photographed, much more so than 40 years ago.
      djxatlanta
  • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

    In the news article regarding this matter, in Telegraph newspaper, I find something very strange.

    [spacecraft]Deep Impact, which is unmanned and the size of a small car, previously visited another comet, called Tempel 1, on July 4, 2005, when it fired a missile that caused a brilliant explosion and blasted out a crater.

    Pay attention to these words "WHEN IT FIRED A MISSILE"....

    since when NASA equipped their space craft with missiles which could target something at these fantastic distances and I am amused and worried at shooting things at celestial objects :)

    The complete article is here :http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8111090/Nasa-spacecraft-comes-within-435-miles-of-comet.html
    kfali
    • Deep Impact NOT a missile, nor a bomb...

      @kfali - Deep Impact did not fire a missile at Tempel 1 (nor as this ZDnet article suggests, a bomb)... a better analogy would be a simple cannonball. The impactor probe was nothing more than a solid mass of almost pure copper along with some cameras and maneuvering jets. There were no explosives involved -- just a simple transfer of energy from kinetic to radiant/thermal energy.
      djxatlanta
      • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

        @djxatlanta But missiles and explosions sounds so much cooler ;).
        CobraA1
    • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

      @kfali Amazing, yes, but *strange*???
      Papa_Bill
  • GOD, what about the gas?

    Since this thing was spectrographed spewing cyanide gas it impact might not be necessary to wipe out say New York City if the cyanide gas NYC produces does not kill everyone on Earth first.
    gazuntite
  • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

    :) djxatlanta, I like your, lol, over simplifying the "missile" and "bomb" concept......its like saying oh we never bomb brown colored people, we just shower them with some copper top chemicals which leave "craters"...hehe...

    ok, back to the topic, yes I understand what you mean, a projectile might have been shot at this comet to get more "readings" .........

    but still NASA and its "aims" is always interesting.....

    In my opinion, we are in a quarantine zone in the space, our planet and its solar system is on a remote zone in the galaxy and it will take a loooong time for us to create a fuel system which can propel us fast enough to make it really worthy of finding something useful other than water based propulsion rocks!
    kfali
    • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

      @kfali - good lord, what's going on in that head of yours to bring together all those completely unrelated topics?
      djxatlanta
      • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

        @djxatlanta
        Where do all these nuts come from???
        omb00900@...
  • my head a comet

    haha!

    a lot is in my head!

    haha
    kfali
  • RE: NASA's close encounter with a new comet (images)

    They did not send a bomb last time or try to blow it up.
    Get your story straight.
    MoeFugger