Comet Hartley 2
103P/Hartley happening around us, every 6 years
|Automatic translation||Updated June 01, 2013|
Every 6,46 years, the small comet Hartley 2 (103 / P Hartley) passes near the Earth and the Sun. 103P/Hartley or comet Hartley 2, is a periodic comet discovered by Malcolm Hartley in 1986 with the Schmidt telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory, Australia. In October 2010 it passed near Earth and the Sun. Against this backdrop of night sky of October 2, 2010 you can see right image, the comet dragging her beautiful hair greenish.
Developed in December 2007, the trip took over 2 ½ years. The probe hit the comet after a trip equivalent to 18 times the Earth-Sun distance and used three times, the gravity assist from Earth. The mission aims to draw maps of temperature, measure its size, albedo, modeling its nucleus, to study the distribution of dust and gas, search for volatile compounds, identify surface features, observed distribution of craters,...
Image: Comet Harley 2 with its green tail, rose to 18 million kilometers, 20 October 2010 it was closer to Earth. Deep Impact is not the only observer space, WISE and Hubble also observe the comet Hartley 2. Its orbital period is 6.46 years.
Deep Impact flew over the nucleus of comet
November 4, 2010, the former American probe Deep Impact, Epoxy renamed for the occasion, flew over the nucleus of comet Hartley 2 at a distance of 700 km. Comet 103P/Hartley 2 is a young and active comet with green specialists will study the active regions that release the gas and dust at the root of the hair.
When a comet approaches the Sun, the outer layer vaporizes and forms a gaseous envelope (coma). Solar radiation exerts pressure on the coma and force particles and gases away from the Sun, forming a glowing tail of ionized particles.
Image: View of core 103P/Hartley 2 made by the probe Epoxi when it is passed closest of the comet the 04/11/2010. The smallest details visible on the surface are approximately 10 meters. Kernel size is estimated at 2 km. © NASA.
The green comet
The images of the coma of comet Hartley 2 show a beautiful green color.
Other comets have brought this beautiful green color, like Hale-Bopp in 1995, Machholtz in 2005, 2009 or Lulin Mc Naught in 2010.
Image: Example of green hair when crossing the comet Lulin 02/04/2009.