The Coma of Comet 9P/Tempel 1

This page contains links to a few "movies" of comet 9P/Tempel 1. They were produced using the images obtained by the deep impact spacecraft and show the coma changing with time.

Sequence of approach images. Sequence of images obtained roughly every 4 hours from June 10 through July 3. This sequence shows the changes in the comet as a function of time, as well as as a function of the changing range of the spacecraft. The rotational arc can be seen expanding to the south (where North is roughly up and east is to the left).

Rotational sequence. Series of 11 images from June 27 that show a full rotation of the nucleus. These images have been looped to simulate several rotations. The rotation period of the nucleus is about 41 hours.

In both of the above sequences, the date of each frame is listed in the upper right, and the yellow bar long the bottom shows the rotational phase of the nucleus for that particular frame. The phase has been defined such that zero phase is the time of impact. The individual images have been enhanced to improve the contrast of the coma, to reveal the jet structures.

Limb jet sequence. Series of images showing the limb jets appearing and disappearing as they pass over the horizon. (The motion is due to the spacecraft's passage underneath the nucleus.) The sequence runs forward and backward, and can be looped to show the jets as the nucleus rocks back and forth.

A preprint of the paper "Dust Coma Morphology in the Deep Impact Images of Comet 9P/Tempel 1" by Farnham et al. is available. The paper has been submitted to the Deep Impact special edition of Icarus. It has received favorable reviews, and we are waiting for notification of its acceptance.

Last modified: October 4, 2006