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Comet Orbits & EPOXI Mission Trajectory

orbits of T1, Halley, H2, Holmes and DI and EPOXI Click for full size image.

Caption: The orbits of several comets are shown for comparison. 1P/Halley has the highly elliptic orange path which takes out just beyond the orbit of Neptune. Closer in are three Jupiter-family comets: 9P/Tempel 1 (green ellipse), 17P/Holmes (orange ellipse), and 103P/Hartley 2 (red ellipse). Tempel 1 was the target of the Deep Impact mission and is the target for the extended mission for Stardust-NExT. Hartley 2 is the target of DIXI, the extended Deep Impact mission, and is half of the EPOXI mission. Holmes experienced an outburst that made it very visible from late Oct 2007 through spring 2008.

Also shown are the orbits of Jupiter (blue circle), the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft while performing the Deep Impact mission (yellow dashed ellipse) and the spacecraft while it performs the EPOXI mission (white circle). The orbit of the Earth is not shown because at this scale, it would overlap with the EPOXI mission orbit.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD/GSFC/Tony Farnham

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