Hey Space Placers!
I have blogged about Comet ISON and will continue to do so as new information comes in as it did today.
NASA is planning a photography run of Comet ISON from Mars using the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) High Resolution (HIRISE) Camera. Slated for August 20th, the MRO spacecraft will have to be maneuvered into position so HIRISE is pointing up and away from Mars instead of looking down on it.
It will take some software command planning and nifty operational execution to pull the photography run off, but if anybody can do it the good folks at NASA JPL can.
The pictures should be of interest as will the instrumental data obtained by using MRO's imaging spectrometer which should give us an idea as to the composition of the comet's nucleus, coma (the cloud of sublimating (evaporating) gas and frozen ices surrounding the nucleus) and tail.
These observations from Mars are important as Comet ISON will not be readily visible from Earth during this time. Getting good data and pics will help fill in the blanks on Comet ISON as the visitor from the far reaches of the solar system makes its first ever journey to the Sun.
As I have blogged before, NASA and other world agencies are going to use as many spacecraft, instruments and telescopes they can to observe Comet ISON. The results should tell us much about the earliest history of our solar system.
Read More About It: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/blogs/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowBlogs&BlogsID=281
Sky Guy in VA