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Figure 1: A Dozen Views of Wild 2
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These 12 images are a good representation of the closest images of comet Wild 2. The temporal sequence starts at the upper left and continues left to right on the first three rows. The overexposed and out-of-sequence images at the bottom are long exposures t aken for autonomous tracking and yield the best jet images. All images were scaled to a constant image scale.

Figure 2: Wild 2 Mosaic
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This image and diagram show the comet Wild 2, which NASA's Stardust spacecraf t flew by on Jan. 2, 2004. The picture on the left is the closest short exposure of the comet, taken at an11.4-degree phase angle, the angle between the camera, comet and the Sun. The listed names on the right are those used by the Stardust team to identify features. "Basin" does not imply an impact origin.

Figure 3: Wild 2 - Three Stereo Views
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The top and bottom images are three stereo pairs taken just after and just before closest approach to comet Wild 2. The central image is an enlargement highlighting the pit-halo crater Rahe, just to the right of center. The bottom pair shows Hemenway (with its bright spot), Mayo and Shoemaker, all near the terminator. A large pinnacle can be seen in the center of Shoemaker with its shadow cast on the west wall of the basin. A mesa is also seen on the west limb of Shoemaker. The central region of the terminator illustrates the remarkably rugged nature of the surface of Wild 2.

Figure 4: Lunar Glass Microcrater
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A 10 micron-diameter microcrater on lunar glass shows a smooth central pit surrounded by a zone of ejected material. Although much smaller, this crater form, common for centimeter and smaller craters on the Moon, is an intriguing analog to pit-halo craters such as Rahe seen on comet Wild 2. The pit-halo depressions on Wild 2 formed in a rigid material under microgravity conditions.

Figure 5: Wild 2 Crater Analog In Lab
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A 10 centimeter-size (3.9 inch) laboratory hypervelocity impact crater was made as an analog of comet Wild 2's flat-floor craters. The crater was made with a 3.2 millimeter (0.13 inch) ceramic projectile impacting a porous target.

Figure 6: Wild 2 Features
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These images taken by NASA's Stardust spacecraft highlight the diverse features that make up the surface of comet Wild 2. Side A shows a variety of small pinnacles and mesas seen on the limb of the comet. Side B shows the location of a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) series of aligned scarps, or cliffs, that are best seen in the stereo images.

Figure 8: Wild 2 Stereo Anaglyph
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A stereo anaglyph (magenta on right) of comet Wild 2 shows the comet and jets seen as sunlight reflected from outward-flowing dust and rocks. Unusual jets from the shadowed side can be seen coming from Walker, on the right side of the nucleus, and from a region below Walker.

Figure 7: Spots on Wild 2
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A stereo view of the bright spot in the central region of Hemenway, a feature on comet Wild 2. A smaller spot, barely detected in both images, is seen just to the left of the central spot. The stereo image also shows several remarkable upturned ridges.

Jets and Brightness - Wild 2
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This image shows lines of constant brightness in the coma of dust and gas around comet Wild 2. The bumps mark the positions of jets.

Wild 2 Pinnacles
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Comet Wild 2 has many strange pinnacles, some over 100 meters (.06 miles) high. Pinnacles are found on Earth but have not previously been seen on other solar system bodies.

Wild 2 Depression
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This stereo anaglyph shows a large depression on comet Wild 2, with a Sun-illuminated pinnacle in its center and a large mesa on its western edge. Note the pinnacle's shadow on the west wall of the depression.

Wild 2, Phoebe Comparison
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Comparison of surface features of comet Wild 2 with Phoebe, a captured satellite of Saturn. Both of these objects are suspected to originate from the Kuiper belt.

Wild 2, Asteroid Comparison
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This image shows comet Wild 2 and asteroids shown at the same spatial scale. Most of the depressions on asteroids and moons are classic bowl-shaped impact craters.

Lunar Glass Microcrater with Pit
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This image shows a 10-micron diameter microcrater on lunar glass. With its rounded central pit surrounded by a zone of ejected material, it is a close analog to comet Wild 2's halo craters.

Wild 2 Anaglyph with Jets
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An anaglyph (red-blue) stereo image showing jets. The two jets on the right are remarkable in that they come from sources on the comet's dark side.

Wild 2 Anaglyph with Dark Side
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This anaglyph (red-blue) stereo image showing jets on comet Wild 2. The two jets on the right are remarkable in that they come from sources on the comet's dark side.

Artist Conception of Wild 2
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This is an artist's concept depicting a view of comet Wild 2 as seen from NASA's Stardust spacecraft during its flyby of the comet on Jan. 2, 2004.

See Also Stereo Images and Stardust Animations



Last updated June 17, 2004
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