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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[42.04] Hubble Space Telescope Observations of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 During the Epoch of Deep Impact

P. D. Feldman (JHU), H. A. Weaver (JHU/APL), M. F. A'Hearn (U Maryland), M. J. S. Belton (BeltonSpace), K. J. Meech (U Hawaii)

We report on the Hubble Space Telescope program to observe periodic comet 9P/Tempel 1 in conjunction with NASA's Deep Impact mission. Our objectives are to study the generation and evolution of the gaseous coma resulting from the impact and to obtain wide-band images of the visual outburst generated by the impact. All of the observations were made using the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). For imaging, the ACS High Resolution Camera provides a spatial resolution of 35 km at the comet at the time of impact. Two observing campaigns utilizing a total of 17 HST orbits were carried out: the first occurred on 2005 June 13-14 and fortuitously recorded the appearance of a new, short-lived jet in the sunward direction on June 14. The principal campaign began two days before impact and was followed by contiguous orbits through impact plus several hours and then snapshots one, seven, and twelve days later. Thirteen minutes after the impact, the flux in an 80 km \times 80 km area projected onto the sky had increased by nearly a factor of 10. Initial images and light curves will be presented.

This work was supported by grant GO-10144.01-A from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

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