NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2005A-0554

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Proposal Information for 2005A-0554


PI: Beatrice Mueller, NOAO, muller@noao.edu
Address: NTSS, 950 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

CoI: Faith Vilas, JSC
CoI: Karen Meech, IFA, Univ. of Hawaii
CoI: Anita Cochran, Univ of Texas
CoI: Nalin Samarasinha, NOAO
CoI: Yanga Fernandez, IFA, Univ. of Hawaii
CoI: Audrey Delsanti, IFA, Univ. of Hawaii
CoI: Bin Yang, IFA, Univ. of Hawaii

Title: Spectroscopic Observations of the Deep Impact Target Comet 9P/Tempel 1

Abstract: NASA's Deep Impact (DI) spacecraft mission is the first mission to explore the interior of a cometary nucleus. The spacecraft will deliver a 360 kg impactor into comet 9P/Tempel 1 on UT July 4, 2005, excavating a ~25 m-deep crater and liberating relatively pristine volatiles that normally would not be observable. We propose to observe 9P/Tempel 1 before, during, and after impact time with Densepack at the WIYN and with the R-C Spectrograph at the 1.5-m CTIO telescope. Our goal is to get large-area spectroscopic coverage of the coma as the post- impact photochemistry proceeds. We will observe the common visible- wavelength species such as CN, C_2, and C_3, and measure changes in production rates and relative abundances. We will use the spatial (radial and azimuthal) information in the spectra of these bands to constrain abundances of the parent molecules in the nucleus itself. Our proposal is part of a world-wide observational campaign led by co-I K. Meech to support the DI mission. The southwestern US is one of the few regions capable of observing the impact at night.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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