Hartley 2 in Motion: Stunning Morph Animation of Flyby Images

Article written: 6 Nov , 2010
Updated: 20 Jan , 2016

The folks from UnmannedSpaceflight.com have done it again. Daniel Machácek created this wonderful animation from just the five initial images of Hartley 2 that were released by the Deep Impact team immediately following its flyby on November 4, 2010, using Sqirlz Morph software. Time in the animation is five times faster than the actual speed of the flyby. Hartley 2 really does look like a flying bowling pin, except this one is 2km (1.25 miles) long and about .2 km in diameter. Thanks to Daniel for sharing his animation.

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7 Responses

  1. RALF99 says

    This is a spectacular video. It appears to me that the middle of the comet is much smoother than the ends, as if it is being pulled apart. Is this what is going on?

  2. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    I believe a crystallizing, perhaps consensus, idea is that Hartley 2 is a contact binary (which resembles comets Borrelly and perhaps Halley, perhaps making this a usual conformation). The smooth part would then be kept and transported ejecta from jets and impacts that assembled in, and now delineates, the gravitational well in between. A lot of funny things may happen in, perhaps, 4.5 Gy (life, for one).

    A test for that hypothesis is that the jets are extinguished in that area.

  3. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    “a crystallizing … idea”. Yeah, references … that would be the discussion at Planetary Society blog, for one.

  4. J. Major says

    Amazin’. Great work Daniel!!!

  5. Member
    Aqua says

    The smooth areas look like the ‘ponding’ sites seen at Itikawa by Hayabusa! Hai!

  6. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    Aqua, exactly. I think that is how they deduced the non-obvious (to me) binary.

  7. Nexus says

    Now that the flyby is finished, what is next for the Deep Impact spacecraft? It’s still in good working order and it would be a shame not to see another mission extension for it.

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