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NASA - Spitzer Observations of the Encounter

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 ┬Ám.

Left image: Tempel 1 as observed 23 hours before impact (I). Subsequent images to the right have been divided by the left image taken at I-23 hrs to enhance the comparison of the thermal emission post-impact compared to pre-impact. The highest intensity is white, followed by red, yellow, green, blue and purple. The radiating debris from the impact expands during the course of the 10 hours of observations.

The green lines show the effective size of the IRS spectrometer entrance slit which produced the spectra shown in Fig. 2. North, East and the sunward directions are designated and a 40,000 km scale bar is shown.

Photo Credit: NASA/UM C. M. Lisse et al., Science 313, 635 (2006); published online 13 July 2006 (10.1126/science.1124694). Reprinted with permission from AAAS.

Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: Martin Perez