NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0315

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0315


PI: Karen J. Meech, UH, meech@ifa.hawaii.edu
Address: IfA, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

CoI: Jana Pittichova, UH
CoI: Michael F. A'Hearn, UMD

Title: Rotation Period for Comet P/Hartley 2, Support for the EPOXI Mission

Abstract: We request time on Gemini South as part of an international campaign to obtain the rotational light curve for the EPOXI mission target, comet 103P/Hartley 2. Knowledge of rotation period at the 20% level is required early to plan the mission sequencing, and the only time to secure these observations before the coma signal dominates the nucleus is during the 2009A semester. As was seen through international campaigns to determine the rotation period of comet 9P/Tempel 1 for both the Deep Impact and Stardust-NExT missions, the combination of spacecraft and Earth-based observations can be combined to get unprecedented precision on the rotation of the nucleus. For comet 9P/Tempel 1, this has lead to some paradigm changing ideas about the physical processes of comet activity. With a nucleus fly by on Nov. 4, 2010, we will have another opportunity for unique science enabled by combining ground- and space-based in-situ observations.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0315

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