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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[43.13] The Las Campanas Observatory/Gemini-South campaign for Deep Impact target comet 9P/Tempel 1: Overview and Highlights

D. J. Osip (OCIW, Las Campanas Observatory), J. De Buizer (Gemini Observatory), J. E. Thomas-Osip (OCIW, Las Campanas Observatory), S. M. Lederer (California State University San Bernadino), C. Lisse (JHU-APL)

We present initial results of a combined LCO/Gemini observational programme to characterize the Deep Impact target 9P/Tempel 1 before, during and after the expected excavation of a new impact crater on 04 July 2005. Our programme combines a suite of optical, near-IR and thermal-IR instruments at the Las Campanas Observatory and Gemini South in Chile to establish a baseline and then observe the consequences when the Deep Impact Mission fires a 370kg copper projectile to penetrate the mantle of comet 9P/Tempel 1. Observations are scheduled between 20 June and 20 July, 2005. We are employing T-ReCS on Gemini South to obtain thermal infrared imaging and spectroscopy of the comet simultaneously with narrowband optical continuum and near infrared imaging from the two Magellan 6.5 meter telescopes using MagIC and PANIC. Taken together these high spatial resolution data will allow us to model the physical and chemical characteristics of the subsurface material freshly excavated by the Deep Impact projectile. We will determine or constrain the composition, albedo, size distribution, and production rate, for the dust and water ice particles in the coma prior to the mission impact (8 cometary rotations pre-impact) and then compare these same properties at three epochs following the excavation of the impact crater (immediately following the impact within the first cometary rotation, after another 4 cometary rotations and again 8 rotations after impact). To compliment the T-ReCS spectroscopy obtained within the first cometary rotation following impact, we will also have simultaneous 5-30 micron spectra obtained with the IRS instrument on the Spitzer spacecraft at UT 01:54 and 23:13 on 05 July. In addition to these simultaneous Magellan/Gemini observations, wide-field narrowband imaging will be carried out at the duPont 2.5m telescope at LCO between 27 June and 09 July, 2005. Together, these investigations will provide a detailed characterization of pristine cometary material dating back to the origins of our solar system.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: dosip@lco.cl

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