View Full Version : Surprising Insights Into Comet Tempel 1

2005-Sep-07, 05:02 PM
SUMMARY: Even though Deep Impact smashed into Comet Tempel 1 several months ago, scientists are still analyzing the data gathered before and after the collision. Very few close up pictures of comets have ever been taken, so the data gathered by Tempel 1 is very valuable, and sometimes surprising. The nucleus of Temple 1 has layers that show in topographic relief, ranging from smooth surfaces to impact craters. It's also extremely porous, which allows the surface to heat up and cool down almost instantly when hit by sunlight.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/deepimpact_painting_by_numbers.html)
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2005-Sep-08, 04:24 AM
Ah, this reminds me of a question VanderL posed in another thread, asking how the "snow" could be heated so efficiently. Seems this may provide the answer.

2005-Sep-08, 10:39 PM
Well , how this comet can be very porous and fluffy and have impact craters ? I am no astronomer but it looks like a contradiction to me.

2005-Sep-09, 01:21 AM
Well, galacsi, as dear old Uncle Albert would say, "it's all relative..."; build yourself a snowman and shoot it with a high-powered rifle loaded with bullets made of ice or carbon compounds or beach sand - with luck you should create a few 'impact craters'.

On the other hand, if you could build a snowman with the density of Tempel 1, it wouldn't last long under our gravity - it would slump into a rather formless lump.

The findings are exciting and very interesting, but I would warn that, once again, the 'experts' are falling into the trap of generalising from a single example ... knowing what Tempel 1 is made of doesn't mean we now know how and of what all comets are made.