These two infrared images of C/2013 (Comet Siding Spring) were taken by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) on Oct. 19, 2014.
Comet Siding Spring – an Oort Cloud comet that may contain material from the formation of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago – was making its first voyage through the inner solar system. CRISM and many other instruments and spacecraft combined to provide an unprecedented data set for an Oort Cloud comet.
CRISM acquired the first image at 2:16 pm EDT on Oct. 19, just prior to the comet's closest approach to Mars at 2:27 pm EDT, when it came within roughly 88,000 miles of the planet. The second image was taken 37 minutes later, during which the comet – traveling at approximately 34 miles per second – had traversed one-third of the way across the Martian sky.
The scale of the left image is approximately 4 kilometers per pixel; for the right image, it is about 5 kilometers per pixel. The images, which have had brightness and color enhancements, provide very different perspectives on this intriguing comet.
The images show the inner part of the cloud of dust, called the coma, that is generated around the nucleus by the warmth of the sun. The solid nucleus itself is not resolved. CRISM observed 107 different wavelengths of light in each pixel. Here, only three colors are shown.
Researchers think the appearance of color variations in the inner coma could be due to the properties of the comet's dust, possibly dust grain size or composition. The full spectra will be analyzed to better understand the reason for the color variations.
CRISM is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland provided and operates CRISM; Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the orbiter.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California manages MRO for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. For more information about NASA Mars missions, visit: www.nasa.gov/mars
The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu
Geoffrey Brown | newswise
Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top
20.04.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
New record on squeezing light to one atom: Atomic Lego guides light below one nanometer
20.04.2018 | ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy