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New Comet Bound for Glory?
Right now, 2012 S1 appears to be about 615 million miles (990 million kilometers) from Earth, between the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter, astronomers say.
As the sun's gravity pulls the comet closer, it should pass about 6.2 million miles (10 million kilometers) from Mars—possibly a unique photo opportunity for NASA's new Curiosity rover.
Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People
reply to post by Trillium
A couple of questions come to mind about a possible comet photo opportunity for Curiosity (and I welcome anyone's input regarding these questions):
1. How large would the tail be and how bright could it be when the comet is near Mars, considering the tail lengthens, and the comet brightens, as it gets closer to the Sun?
2. What is the light-capturing capability of the cameras on Curiosity? Does NASA have a way of controlling the shutter speed, to keep it open longer to be able to get a good image of the comet?
I know that if I used a camera shutter speed set for daylight, I would not be able to capture enough light to see stars. Even if the comet does become visible from Curiosity's vantage point on Mars, would NASA be able to capture a picture of the comet with the shutter speeds available to them?
edit on 10/3/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Phage
Here's Phobos in daylight so I think the comet should be doable if it lives up to its promise.
C/2013 S1 will be high in the Martian night sky when at its closest to Mars around the end of September.
MAHLI can not only take close-up pictures with resolution as high as 15 microns (0.0006 inch) per pixel, it can also focus at infinity, allowing the camera to be used to take pictures at a variety of distances from the instrument