Deep Impact Event Ground Support Observations.

Project Details


In July 2005, the US mission "Deep Impact" (NASA) created an artificial crater in the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel1. For the first time, volatiles from the pristine nucleus interior is open for study. Observations of the fresh subliming ices therefore open the opportunity to study material unchanged probably since the formation of the solar system.
We have obtained observations of the gas components of the cometary coma as partners of a worldwide observational campaign that will allow us to study the chemical composition and isotopic ratios. We are looking for differences between the "normal" cometary coma before impact, when material sublimates solely from the upper nucleus layers, and after the impact event, when fresh material from the nucleus interior dominates the coma. Knowing the isotopic ratios of this more pristine material will provide important clues to trace the origin of comets.
Effective start/end date1/01/0731/12/07

Flemish discipline codes

  • Biological sciences


  • physics