Research Article

EPOXI at Comet Hartley 2

Science  17 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6036, pp. 1396-1400
DOI: 10.1126/science.1204054

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Abstract

Understanding how comets work—what drives their activity—is crucial to the use of comets in studying the early solar system. EPOXI (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation) flew past comet 103P/Hartley 2, one with an unusually small but very active nucleus, taking both images and spectra. Unlike large, relatively inactive nuclei, this nucleus is outgassing primarily because of CO2, which drags chunks of ice out of the nucleus. It also shows substantial differences in the relative abundance of volatiles from various parts of the nucleus.

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