Watch Live Coverage of EPOXI’s Hartley 2 Encounter on Nov. 4

Comet 103P/Hartley 2 Animation, created by images taken by Patrick Wiggins, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador to Utah. Used by permission.

Watch live coverage of the EPOXI mission’s close flyby of Comet Hartley 2. Live coverage begins on November 4, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. EDT (6:30 a.m. PDT) from mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. You can watch NASA TV’s Media Channel online at this link, (and make sure you click on the “Media Channel” tab on the right side of the “tv” screen). You can also watch on JPL’s UStream channel online. Coverage includes closest approach, an educational segment, and the return of close-approach images. Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society Blog has posted a very detailed timeline of the encounter.

There will also be a post-flyby news briefing at 4 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. PDT).

There’s a real-time animation of the comet flyby using NASA’s new “Eyes on the Solar System” Web tool, that is now live for the encounter. JPL created this 3-D environment that allows people to explore the solar system directly from their computers. Click on the comet to follow the encounter of EPOXI spacecraft.

EPOXI is the re-purposed Deep Impact spacecraft, and is a combination of two subsequent missions: extrasolar planet observations, called Extrasolar Planet Observations and Characterization (EPOCh), and the flyby of comet Hartley 2, called the Deep Impact Extended Investigation (DIXI). The spacecraft itself is still referred to as Deep Impact, though, despite the changes and extensions of its mission.