[meteorite-list] MRO Spectrometer Shows Oort Comet's Coma

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:39:24 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201410242339.s9ONdOaX013230_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Mars Orbiter's Spectrometer Shows Oort Comet's Coma

The Compact Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) observed comet C/2013
A1 Siding Spring as the comet sped close to Mars on Oct. 19. CRISM
recorded imaging data in 107 different wavelengths, showing the inner
part of the cloud of dust, called the coma, surrounding the comet's nucleus.

Two images from CRISM presenting three of the recorded wavelengths are
online at:


Comet Siding Spring -- an Oort Cloud comet that may contain material
from the formation of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago -- was
making its first voyage through the inner solar system. CRISM and many
other instruments and spacecraft combined forces to provide an
unprecedented data set for an Oort Cloud comet.

The appearance of color variations in the CRISM observations of the
inner coma could be due to the properties of the comet's dust, possibly
dust grain size or composition. The full spectra will be analyzed to
better understand the reason for the color variations.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel,
Maryland, provided and operates CRISM. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena,
manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science
Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in
Denver built the orbiter.

For more about CRISM, visit:


For more about Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit:


For more about comet Siding Spring, including other images of the comet,


Media Contact

Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov

Geoffrey Brown
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
geoffrey.brown at jhuapl.edu

Received on Fri 24 Oct 2014 07:39:24 PM PDT

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