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Comet Hartley 2's hyperactive state, as studied by NASA's EPOXI mission, is detailed in a new paper published in this week's issue of the journal Science.
Comet Hartley 2, is in a hyperactive class of its own compared to other comets visited by spacecraft.
NASA's EPOXI mission successfully flew by comet Hartley 2 at about 7 am PDT (10 am EDT) today, and the spacecraft has begun returning images. Hartley 2 is the fifth comet nucleus visited by a spacecraft.
The EPOXI mission spacecraft has refined its path toward a Nov 4 flyby of comet Hartley 2, successfully performing its final maneuver Tuesday at 8 am PDT (11 a.m. EDT).
Over the last 40 years, Malcolm Hartley has done just about every possible job for Siding Spring Observatory's UK Schmidt telescope in New South Wales, Australia.
Two movies derived from images taken by the two cameras aboard NASA's EPOXI mission spacecraft show comet Hartley 2 is, as expected, quite active, and it provides information on the nucleus's rotation.
NASA will hold a series of news and educational events about the EPOXI mission's close encounter with comet Hartley 2, scheduled to occur at approximately 7 am PDT (10 am EDT) on Thursday, Nov 4.
In one of its final mission trajectory correction maneuvers, the EPOXI mission spacecraft has refined its orbit, preparing it for the flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Nov 4.
On Nov 4 at about 10:01 am EDT (7:01 am PDT) the spacecraft will make its closest approach to the comet at a distance of about 700 kilometers (434 miles).
- Any of various tropical Old World birds of the family Indicatoridae, some species of which lead people or animals to the nests of wild honeybees. The birds eat the wax and larvae that remain after the nest has been destroyed for its honey.