View Full Version : Deep Impact

John Hart
07-03-2005, 7:21 AM
For those of you not aware...Tonight is a fairly significant night in the world of space exploration. The Deep Impact spacecraft has released it's impactor probe as of about 5 hours ago and is on it's was to collide with Comet Temple 1. The impact will occur tonight at 1:52am. If you are interested, NASA has set up a website for this project http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html where you can see pictures of the approach so far and they are promising near-real-time video of the event.

Personally, I can't wait to see the high-res pictures afterward.

Randy Meijer
07-03-2005, 3:26 PM
I have seen several reoprts that say the impact might be visible with a pair of good binoculars or a low power telescope. Problem is there is comflicting info on where the event might be seen. I saw one report that said it would be visible West of the Mississippi River. Another said that it would only be visible on the West coast and very low on the horizon. Anybody know for sure???

BTW, John, thanks for the link. I was looking for such a site yesterday but wasn't able to locate one!!

Frank Hagan
07-04-2005, 1:31 AM
Best bet will be the website or the NASA channel, which is providing a live feed from mission control at JPL in Pasadena. On my DISH Network feed, NASA is channel 213.

It will be below the horizon in the eastern half of the US. Its happening in about 30 minutes from the time I write this message (scheduled for about 10:52 Pacific Time). From the states west of the Mississippi, if you have a clear, DARK sky, it should be visible.

Find Jupiter ... it will be the brightest 'star' in the sky along the "ecliptic" ... the path through the sky that the sun takes. It should be high in the southwest by now. Look to the left of Jupiter ... stretch out your left hand, make a fist, and align the thumb with Jupiter and you should see another star about where your pinky is; not quite as bright as Jupiter, but the next brightest star in that area. That is Spica. The comet is about two finger widths ABOVE Spica (finger widths are with your hand stretched out.)

With good binoculars or a telescope, you may see the smudge of light that is the comet. But if you have a lot of "light pollution" like I do here in California, you won't be able to see it at all. You need nice dark skies.

Chris Padilla
07-04-2005, 2:10 AM
Very cool...I'm watching on CNN right now...looks like a success! :)

Vaughn McMillan
07-04-2005, 2:15 AM
Yeppers, the NASA Channel has good images running as I type this...

Thanks for the heads-up, John. I happened upon your initial post about 10 minutes before impact.

Great shot indeed.

- Vaughn

Chris Padilla
07-04-2005, 2:26 AM
<groan>, no NASA channel on Comcast here in San Jose.... :(

(or at least I don't have it for my subscription)

John Hart
07-04-2005, 6:35 AM
Here's the pic of impact. It'll be cool to see what they're really made of. This is probably the beginning of finding out how to destroy them before they destroy all our trees!! (and everything else):D


Lee DeRaud
07-04-2005, 11:11 AM
This is probably the beginning of finding out how to destroy them before they destroy all our trees!!:D I dunno...remember that old 'Far Side' cartoon with the fishermen in the lake watching the mushroom clouds?
"I'll tell you what it means: no work Monday and no limits!!":cool: