The History and Dynamics of Comet 9P/Tempel 1
Authors: Yeomans, Donald; Giorgini, Jon; Chesley, Steven
Source: Space Science Reviews, Volume 117, Numbers 1-2, March 2005 , pp. 123-135(13)
Abstract:Since its discovery in 1867, periodic comet 9P/Tempel 1 has been observed at 10 returns to perihelion, including all its returns since 1967. The observations for the seven apparitions beginning in 1967 have been fit with an orbit that includes only radial and transverse nongravitational accelerations that model the rocket-like thrusting introduced by the outgassing of the cometary nucleus. The successful nongravitational acceleration model did not assume any change in the comet’s ability to outgas from one apparition to the next and the outgassing was assumed to reach a maximum at perihelion. The success of this model over the 1967–2003 interval suggests that the comet’s spin axis is currently stable. Rough calculations suggest that the collision of the impactor released by the Deep Impact spacecraft will not provide a noticeable perturbation on the comet’s orbit nor will any new vent that is opened as a result of the impact provide a noticeable change in the comet’s nongravitational acceleration history. The observing geometries prior to, and during, the impact will allow extensive Earth based observations to complement the in situ observations from the impactor and flyby spacecraft.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: Donald.firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: March 1, 2005