Tag: Hartley 2

Photo: Comet Hartley 2 Travels With a Posse of Snowballs

By Eliza Strickland | November 19, 2010 3:28 pm

comet-snowballs
Phil Plait has the report on NASA’s latest pictures from the flyby of Hartley 2, which reveal that the comet is surrounded by a blizzard of snow and ice:

Wow! Most of those dots are not stars: they are actual snowballs, frozen matter that has been ejected by the comet itself! They range in size from a few centimeters to a few dozen across, so they really are about the size of snowballs you’d use in a snowball fight… or to make a snowman. But I wouldn’t recommend it: a lot of that material is not frozen water, it’s actually frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice.

Find out what else we’ve learned about Hartley 2 and see more photos at Bad Astronomy.

Related Content:
Bad Astronomy: Amazing Close-Ups of Comet Hartley 2!
80beats: Holy Hartley 2! What to Know About NASA’s Comet Flyby
80beats: Video: Comet Caught Crashing into the Sun
80beats: Spacecraft-Collected Comet Dust Reveals Surprises From the Solar System’s Boondocks
Bad Astronomy: Ten Things You Don’t Know About Comets

Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UMD

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space

Comet Flyby Yields Close-ups of the Lumpy, Icy Hartley 2

By Eliza Strickland | November 4, 2010 12:31 pm

Hartley2This morning, NASA’s EPOXI mission whizzed by the comet Hartley 2, coming as near as 450 miles to the comet at 8 a.m. and snapping pictures all the while. The icy comet is less than a mile in diameter and has an irregular shape that one NASA researcher recently described as “a cross between a bowling pin and a pickle.”

The images are already streaming in: Head to Bad Astronomy for more pictures and a discussion of what these snapshots tell us about Hartley 2.

This is the second cometary encounter for this spacecraft–under a previous mission called Deep Impact the spacecraft sent an impactor hurtling into the comet Tempel 1, allowing the craft to photograph the excavated debris and the impact crater.

Related Content:
80beats: Holy Hartley 2! What to Know About NASA’s Comet Flyby
80beats: Video: Comet Caught Crashing into the Sun
80beats: Spacecraft-Collected Comet Dust Reveals Surprises From the Solar System’s Boondocks
Bad Astronomy: Ten Things You Don’t Know About Comets
DISCOVER: NASA Takes a Wild Comet Ride

Image:NASA

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space

Holy Hartley 2! What to Know About NASA's Comet Flyby

By Andrew Moseman | October 26, 2010 4:59 pm

hartley2On November 4, NASA’s mission EPOXI will make a flyby less than 450 miles from the comet Hartley 2. Here’s what to know about this dirty snowball.

1. It’s a frequent visitor.

Malcolm Hartley discovered this namesake comet 24 years ago, and it’s returned to swing around the sun a few times since.

Like the famous Halley’s Comet, Comet Hartley 2 is a periodic comet that follows a years-long loop around the sun. It takes 6.46 years to complete one circuit, compared with Halley’s 75.3 years. [Christian Science Monitor]

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space
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