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A Valentine night with Tempel-1 ?

15 Feb 2011, 07:44 UTC
A Valentine night with Tempel-1 ?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Today is the night of Valentine day, I am not particularly romantic but I always tried to do something special for this day. Unfortunately, this year Valentine day is a disaster since I have several deadlines including an important paper which needs to be submitted before midnight. At 10:50pm, my student and I found out that Icarus Journal changed the rules of publication and we have to submit a final, high quality version, of each figure of our paper about the binary asteroid (90) Antiope. While my student is driving back to our office to make those missing figures, I am finalizing what I can and am watching the ustream live of Stardust-Next flyby of the comet Tempel-1.
The comet Tempel-1 is famous for being the target of the mission Deep Impact which was composed of a spacecraft equipped with cameras and spectrographs and an impactor sent deliberately on the comet on July 4 2005. The goal of this mission was to determine the interior composition of the comet but the result of the impact surprised us because of its brightness and none of the instruments on board Deep Impact could photograph the crater. Tonight NASA is recycling another mission ...

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