Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fan-like structure in Comet Tempel 1

05.07.2005


VLT First Images of Comet Tempel 1 After Impact


FORS2 images of Comet Tempel 1, before (top) and after (bottom) impact.



On the night of July 4, 2005, all ESO telescopes continued their extensive observing campaign of Comet Tempel 1. But this time, they were able to see the effect of the impact on the comet. The astronomers were clearly not disappointed.

The impact occurred at 07:52 CEST but because the comet has already set in Chile at that time, observers at the La Silla Paranal Observatory could only start observing several hours later. The first observations were done in the infrared by TMMI2 at the 3.6m telescope at La Silla, at 21:20 CEST (still daylight in Chile).


These first observations showed the comet to be 2 to 3 times brighter in the infrared than the day before the impact. The coma is also much more extended than it was until before the impact.

At sunset in Chile, all 7 telescopes of the La Silla Paranal Observatory went into operations. The FORS2 multi-mode instrument on Antu, one of the 8.2m Unit Telescope of the VLT array, took stunning images, showing that the morphology of the comet had dramatically changed: a new bright fan-like structure was now visible.

The fan lies in the southern part of the image and is rather bright and well defined. This feature is an addition to those that were already visible during the previous days, that seems to still be underlying the new one. Behind this fan, the old coma from yesterday is still present. The new structure is about 15,000 km large, indicating that the matter has been ejected with a speed of about 700 to 1,000 km/h.

Further observations during the week will study the evolution of this fan, revealing if the probe has activated a new region of the surface and how long that region remains active.

The fan is visible through the reflection of sunlight on dust grains. The fact that the big plume is not uniform in colour probably indicates that different dust size are traveling at different speeds.

Other telescopes have provided observations of the comet as well. NACO took some images of the central part of the coma, while UVES performed high-dispersion spectroscopy of the comet, in order to compare with the previous nights. First estimates indicate the emission lines to be more pronounced by 10 to 20 %.

At La Silla, the SOFI instrument at the NTT telescope, imaged the comet in the near-infared. An image in the J-band also shows the dust shell from the impact in the south-western quadrant of the coma. The very inner coma (indicated by the white box) shows on-going enhanced activity compared to the pre-impact level.

The astronomers at the La Silla Paranal Observatory will continue to observe Comet Tempel 1 for another four days in order to monitor precisely its long-term behaviour.

Henri Boffin | alfa
Further information:
http://deepimpact.eso.org/obseso8.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>