reply to post by alfa1
I understand that, and you understand what I meant. It's not like I think it has rockets attached to it. Nice try though. There are other probes out
there too. I believe they could get a closer image than we have been shown so far. If my opinion bothers you, too bad. ~$heopleNation
Your opinion does not bother me at all. However, I would have to ask "How?"
Let us look at C/2012 S1 (ISON) and the path it has been on:
Discovered in Sept. 2012, the comet's position was between the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter. About 615 million miles away from Earth. Here is where it
was in October, 2012:
As you can see, it was not near any planet with a probe, nor Deep Impact (located on the other side of the solar system).
Better yet: C/2012 S1's orbit is very inclined. It is not traveling through the plane of the solar system:
We do not have anything in orbit around Jupiter at this time. Cassini, in orbit around Saturn, is on the other side of the solar system at this time.
New Horizon's is well past this point on it's way to Pluto. Deep Impact, Swift and Dawn are in the inner solar system.
Here is where the comet was in Feb. 2013:
Again, nothing near it, and no way to get anything near it except with a dedicated probe launched from Earth.
Here is where it was in May 2013, when Deep Impact intersected ISON's orbit. You can see how far away the comet is at that time:
Again, there is nothing near it that we have in space.
The closest so far that this comet has come to anything we have in space that can image it was at the end of September this year, when the comet
passed by Mars, at it's closest point, ISON was just over 6 million miles away. All the orbiters in orbit around Mars can not get any closer to ISON.
They were not designed for that:
And again: taking a picture of a 3.1 mile wide comet from over 6 million miles away, with a camera that is designed to take images of martian terrain
just over a hundred miles away, is NOT going to give us any detailed images.
Here is where it is today:
We do have orbiters in orbit around Earth, Venus and Mercury, most of which are equipped to image things that they are in orbit around (with the
exception of things like Hubble). Some of these might be able to leave where they are (Venus and Mercury) and get close to ISON.....but it would mean
abandoning their current missions. Missions that were paid for and are not done (Have to talk to the ESA for the orbiter around Venus):
I agree that we should have made a probe and sent it on it's merry way to intercept ISON and take images of it for us.
But we didn't. Angry about it? Take it up with the US Government and Obama that have bleed NASA dry of funds.
All images taken from Here
edit on 13-11-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason