Bad Astronomy

EPOXI comet flyby timeline

wise_hartley2Emily Lakdawalla at The Planetary Society blog has posted a timeline of the events on Thursday, leading up to and after the spacecraft EPOXI (née Deep Impact) flies past the comet Hartley 2, currently gracing the northern skies.

Deep Impact will fly past the nucleus of the comet on November 4, 2010 at about 14:50 UTC. It will pass at the insanely close distance of 700 kilometers (420 miles), where it will see objects as small as just a few meters across on the comet’s surface. This won’t be the highest resolution a spacecraft has seen a comet nucleus, but it’ll still be pretty impressive. We have precious few closeup images of comets, so this is bound to be a terrific event. Stay tuned here, and check with Emily’s blog during the event; she’s bound to have the most up-to-date info and pictures!

Related posts:

- Three views to a comet
- EPOXI sticks like glue to extrasolar planets
- Ten things you don’t know about comets