37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 42 Deep Impact III
Oral, Wednesday, September 7, 2005, 4:30-6:00pm, Law LG19

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[42.02] Spectroscopy of the initial light produced by the Deep Impact cratering experiment and laboratory experiments

C.A. Eberhardy, P.H. Schultz (Brown University), Deep Impact Team

Observations of the Deep Impact encounter with comet 9P/Tempel 1 included IR spectroscopy of the initial self-luminous plume produced during the impact. Analysis of the first images of this large scale cratering event is compared with conditions inferred from analyses of visible spectra taken during laboratory hypervelocity experiments at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range. Emissions from the earliest stages of cratering formation are controlled by interactions between the projectile and the upper surface of the target. Such experiments reveal impact vaporization processes that evolve through time, especially for surfaces that are made up of thin layers or mixtures of silicates and volatiles. This presentation will focus on the temperature and spectral characteristics of the impact plume. The results of the impact experiments help define the nature of the cometary surface.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.