37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 43 Deep Impact A
Poster, Wednesday, September 7, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Foyer

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[43.17] Deep Impact: Pre-impact geology of the Tempel 1 Nucleus

J. Veverka, P.C. Thomas (Cornell University), J. Melosh (Univ. of Arizona), P. Schultz (Brown Univ.), J. Richardson (Cornell University), M. F. A'Hearn (Univ. of Maryland), Deep Impact Imaging Team

Deep Impact images reveal the complex geologic history of the nucleus of Tempel 1 and show clear evidence of layering. The surface morphology of Tempel 1 is quite distinct from those observed by Deep Space 1 and Stardust on Borrelly and Wild 2, respectively. At least three stratigraphic units can be identified, two of which display evidence of cratering. The third unit, of enigmatic origin and more than 20 meters in thickness, is characterized by remarkable smoothness on meter scales, suggestive of a texturally homogeneous composition. No obvious source areas for jets have been identified on morphological grounds. Several regions about a km in extent appear to provide safe touch-down areas for future landers and sample return spacecraft. This research is support by NASA Contract NASW 00004.

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