National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Return to Solar System Exploration
Facebook Twitter YouTube Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr iTunes
Follow Us
August 2006
Fact Sheet  |  Deep News  |  Biographies  |  What Did We Hope to See?  |  Timeline 
Quick Facts  |  Mission Update  |  How Deep Impact Got Its Name 

Mission - Mission Update

Mission Update - August 2006

Results of Spitzer Space Telescope's Observations of the Impact at Tempel 1
By Lucy McFadden

Click here to read Lucy McFadden's Bio.
More on Lucy McFadden

Spitzer Space Telescope's imaging spectrometer and infrared camera, called the Peak-Up camera, observed comet Tempel 1 both before and after impact on July 4, 2005, covering the infrared spectral region between 5- to 35 microns. This is the region where thermal radiation dominates the spectrum. The brightness of the comet increased as time passed after the impact, as compared to before impact. In the spectra, emission features due to both crystalline and amorphous (glassy) silicates, amorphous carbon, carbonates, clay minerals (phyllosilicates), water in both the gaseous and solid states and sulfides were observed in the spectrum. Both comet Hale-Bopp and the material around the young stellar object named HD100546, have similarities to the spectrum of dust and gas released after the impact into Tempel 1. The presence of the observed mix of materials requires efficient methods of heating the glassy materials and cooling them to crystalline material and mixing high temperature with low temperature materials over large distances in the early protosolar nebula. The evolution of the protosolar nebula was more complex than a simple homogenous gas and dusty disk heated solely by the temperature of the sun.

Figure 1: Spitzer Observations of the Encounter
Fig. 1: These images show the expansion of debris over time after the collision with Tempel 1. The images were taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope's Infrared Spectrometer Peak-Up camera that measures radiated energy at a wavelength of 16 µm.

For more data from the Spitzer Telescope:

Click here to read Casey Lisse's Bio.
More on Casey Lisse

Casey Lisse of Applied Physics Lab was the lead author and PI for the Spitzer Observations.

Mission Update Archive

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010