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Current Research of Comets
06.21.05
 
PRESENT

Peter Schultz, professor of geological sciences at Brown University and co-investigator for NASA's Deep Impact mission, travels to the Vertical Gun Range at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Calif., to simulate cosmic collisions between planets and roving objects such as asteroids.

To conduct his experiments, Schultz fires marble-sized beads – even meteorites – into surfaces ranging from ice and sand to dust and mud. The projectiles, which travel more than 10 times faster than a speeding bullet, make craters of all shapes and sizes. Schultz studies the collisions and the craters – sprays of debris, the diameter and depth of depressions – to understand the forces that shaped features on planets such as Earth, Mars and Venus as well as satellites such as the Moon. This information taken from: Brown University.

Click on link for more information about NASA's Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR).

vertical gun The NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR) at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Image courtesy: P. H. Schultz, Brown University and AVGR.
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crew of AVGR The NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR) with Prof. Peter Schultz (on steps) and his students (Clara Eberhardy on top and Carolyn Ernst below) from Brown University as well as Seiji Sugita (on top of chamber) from the University of Tokyo. Image courtesy: P. H. Schultz, Brown University and AVGR.
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dryice testing Vertical impact into dry ice taken with high-speed camera showing the vapor produced during an impact. Image courtesy: P. H. Schultz, Brown University and AVGR.
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impact flash Impact flash created by high velocity impact into powder using the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Image courtesy: P. H. Schultz, Brown University and AVGR.
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impact sequence High-speed impact experiment performed at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range (AVGR) showing the evolution of the hot vapor and debris (ejecta) launched out of the crater. Image courtesy: P. H. Schultz, Brown University and AVGR.
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pete schultz w/ v-gun Photo No. ACD05-0111-001 - Pete Schultz of Brown University places a sample target in the target area of the Vertical Gun at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., to prepare to simulate the collision of the Deep Impact spacecraft's impactor with comet Tempel 1. The actual collision with the comet is scheduled to take place on July 3, 2005 PDT (July 4, 2005 EDT). This image was taken on June 16, 2005. Image Courtesy: NASA/J.P. Wiens.
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vertical gun Photo No. ACD05-0111-006 - Image shows the crater formed in a target that simulated the collision of the Deep Impact spacecraft's impactor with comet Tempel 1. The actual collision is scheduled to take place on July 3, 2005 PDT (July 4, 2005 EDT). This image was taken on June 16, 2005. This simulation was done at the Vertical Gun at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. Image courtesy: NASA/J.P. Wiens.
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vertical gun Photo No. ACD05-0111-007 - Image of a projectile hitting a test target that simulated the collision of the Deep Impact spacecraft's impactor with comet Tempel 1. The actual collision is scheduled to take place on July 3, 2005 PDT (July 4, 2005 EDT). This simulation was done at the Vertical Gun at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. Please credit image to P.H. Schultz, Brown University and J.P. Wiens. This image was released on June 16, 2005.
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