Latest 81P/Wild Stories

2005-07-05 20:45:00

Comet Tempel 1 was hit hard by a NASA spacecraft earlier this week. Deep Impact scientists provided more details about what the impact has taught us about the comet's structure. Astrobiology Magazine -- Debris is still streaming out of Tempel 1, and the flyby spacecraft is still snapping pictures, but mission scientists paused in their data collection and analysis to share more details and images of the comet. Deep Impact co-investigator Pete Schultz says that Tempel 1 most likely has a soft...

2005-07-04 02:35:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- It sounded like science fiction - NASA scientists used a space probe to chase down a speeding comet 83 million miles away and slammed it into the frozen ball of dirty ice and debris in a mission to learn how the solar system was formed. The unmanned probe of the Deep Impact mission collided with Tempel 1, a pickle-shaped comet half the size of Manhattan, late Sunday as thousands of people across the country fixed their eyes to the southwestern sky for a glimpse. The...

2005-07-01 07:00:00

NASA and University of Arizona researchers have discovered pristine mineral grains that formed in an ancient supernova explosion. The grains were among other extraterrestrial dust plucked by high-flying NASA research aircraft from Earth's upper atmosphere after they were delivered to Earth by a comet or primitive asteroid. It is the first time anyone has ever discovered silicate grains, in this case olivine, from a supernova. They reveal important new information on how much material...

2005-06-26 19:00:00

LOS ANGELES -- Not all dazzling fireworks displays will be on Earth this Independence Day. NASA hopes to shoot off its own celestial sparks in an audacious mission that will blast a stadium-sized hole in a comet half the size of Manhattan. It would give astronomers their first peek at the inside of one of these heavenly bodies. If all goes as planned, the Deep Impact spacecraft will release a wine barrel-sized probe on a suicide journey, hurtling toward the comet Tempel 1 - about 80 million...

2005-01-03 08:57:57

Counting down the top ten astrobiology stories for 2004 highlights the accomplishments of those exploring Mars, Saturn, comets, and planets beyond Pluto. Number five in this countdown was the Stardust mission and its capture of comet dust for Earth return. Astrobiology Magazine -- Comets may have played a major role in the origin of life on Earth, delivering a significant share of the Earth's water as well as carbon-rich organic compounds. When the Stardust spacecraft passed within 236...

2004-12-21 07:50:00

The Deep Impact mission will send a large copper projectile crashing into the surface of a comet at more than 20,000 miles per hour, creating a huge crater and revealing never before seen materials and the internal compostion and structure of a comet. Astrobiology Magazine -- In the movie "Deep Impact," NASA astronauts try to prevent a comet from hitting Earth. When the mission fails, as a last desperate act they fly their spacecraft into the comet, blowing it to smithereens. Although there...

Latest 81P/Wild Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Comet -- A comet is a small body from the outer reaches of the solar system similar to an asteroid but composed of ice. Often described as "dirty snowballs," they are composed largely of carbon dioxide ice, methane ice, and water ice with a mixture of dust and small stony aggregates mixed in. Comets are thought to be small pieces of debris left over from the formation of the solar system, representing a sample of the original composition of the nebula that condensed to form the Sun and all...

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Word of the Day
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.