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We get another close look at a comet!

Also Happy Vicky's Birthday to everybody! Also Happy whatever other holiday you may be celebrating on Feb 14th... :)

Anyway, back to the subject line - Stardust NExT is bearing down on Tempel 1 to see what the place looks like this year...

NASA Spacecraft Hours From Comet Encounter
JPL Press Release

February 14, 2011 - PASADENA, Calif. -- As of today, Feb. 14, at 9:21 a.m. PST (12:21 p.m. EST), NASA's Stardust-NExT mission spacecraft is within a quarter-million miles (402,336 kilometers) of its quarry, comet Tempel 1, which it will fly by tonight. The spacecraft is cutting the distance with the comet at a rate of about 10.9 kilometers per second (6.77 miles per second or 24,000 mph).

The flyby of Tempel 1 will give scientists an opportunity to look for changes on the comet's surface since it was visited by NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft in July 2005. Since then, Tempel 1 has completed one orbit of the sun, and scientists are looking forward to discovering any differences in the comet.

The closest approach is expected tonight at approximately 8:40 p.m. PST (11:40 p.m. EST).
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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
hrrunka
Feb. 14th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
Cool!
capplor
Feb. 15th, 2011 05:46 am (UTC)
We watched
but we're not staying up for the pictures to come down. Tomorrow is soon enough.
kayshapero
Feb. 15th, 2011 06:56 am (UTC)
Re: We watched
I had to be out of the house picking someone up at the airport, so will likely do the same thing. Even if it's not as much fun as it was back when as the first picture of Mimas slowly inched into view and everybody in the room said "Wow, it looks like the Death Star!" :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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