A search for deep impact's large particle ejecta

M. S. Kelley, W. T. Reach, C. E. Woodward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Deep Impact encounter with the nucleus of 9P/Tempel ejected small grains (a ≲ 10 μm) into the comet's coma, evidenced by thermal emission from small dust grains at mid-infrared wavelengths (λ 10 μm) and dynamical simulations of optical images. Meteor-sized particles (a gsim; 100 μm) ejected by the impact will likely have the lowest ejection velocities and will weakly interact with solar radiation pressure. Therefore, large particles may remain near the nucleus for weeks or months after ejection by Deep Impact. We present initial highlights of our Spitzer Space Telescope/MIPS 24 μm camera program to image comet 9P/Tempel at 30, 80, 420, and 560 days after the Deep Impact encounter. The MIPS data, combined with our dynamics model, enable detection of large dust grains potentially ejected by Deep Impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDeep Impact as a World Observatory Event
Subtitle of host publicationSynergies in Space, Time, and Wavelength: Proceedings of the ESO/VUB Conference
EditorsHans Ulrich Kaufl, Christiaan Sterken
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2009

Publication series

NameESO Astrophysics Symposia
ISSN (Print)1431-2433
ISSN (Electronic)1611-6143


Dive into the research topics of 'A search for deep impact's large particle ejecta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this