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Wild 2 Comet Analyzed

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the vilt-thing-you-make-my-heart-sing dept.

Space 115

Mz6 writes "Back in January Slashdot reported about the Stardust probe and its capture of particles from the tail of Wild 2 (pronounced 'Vilt 2'). You might also remember about how it snapped 72 images of the comet and sent them back to JPL. Well, after a detailed analysis of the comet Wild 2 and building upon preliminary analysis in March, it has left astronomers at JPL astounded at an object that has no known peers in the solar system. The comet has towering protrusions and steep-walled craters that seem to defy gravity, more than a dozen jets of material shoot out from its insides, dust swirls around the comet in unexpectedly dense pockets, and boasts 2 large 'footprints', aptly named Left and Right."

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Links (5, Informative)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463522)

Ok... Well when I submitted this story I forgot to include links to the Stardust Website [nasa.gov] , Wild 2 Photos [nasa.gov] , and some interesting Wild 2 Stereo Photos [nasa.gov] (2.0 MB). Best of all.. there's minimal reading, just pretty pictures. Enjoy :)

Re:Links (1, Funny)

Milo of Kroton (780850) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463611)

Best of all.. there's minimal reading, just pretty pictures.

So you can means that nobody tell others RTFA? What day in slashdot history!

Re:Links (2, Funny)

Petrol (18446) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463706)

But I suppose we can say LATFP :)

OMG INTELLIGENT LIFE FOUND (0)

u-238 (515248) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463651)

"towering protrusions" , "more than a dozen jets" , "2 large 'footprints'"

The earthly motifs allude to your true implications Mz6.

Chock full! (1)

dunsel (559042) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463793)

It must be full of "alloys" that our scanners can't analyze if it is from someplace we haven't been before.
And of course alloy refers to the same subset of materials that thing refers to.

If we can expect Star Trek to teach us anything this is one of the <laugh>Prime Directives</laugh> that must be true.

Creativity? (2, Funny)

dalamarian (741404) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463531)

I know that there are countless countless objects in space... but I think they could come up with something better than left and right :)

I am going to get... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463532)

I am going to get the first post...
I am going to get the first post...
I am going to get the first post...


DAMMIT!
I didn't get the first post.

\@O@/

From the article... (-1, Offtopic)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463533)

...it has left astronomers at JPL astounded at an object that has no known peers in the solar system

I keep saying, it's the giant bird that Rick Moranis has launched onto the world, but whenever I post about it, it gets modded down. It's a conspiracy I tell you.

Re:From the article... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463568)

Hey.. check your Gmail.. I mailed you about your Gmail. Still have invites to give away?

Towers? Jets? (3, Funny)

Gunfighter (1944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463539)

Sounds to me like this is just an inter-stellar traveller from afar making his daily rounds. I'm going to laugh if we try to land a probe on a comet and some windshield wiper-like apparatus fires up and sweeps the probe off.

Re:Towers? Jets? (2, Funny)

JamJam (785046) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464060)

That sounds like something from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if this comet is making its rounds looking for a new hyperspace bypass. Pack your things, we're all going to be demolished next Thursday...

I wonder if it's just a coincidence as this is how my morning started:
"You wake up. The room is spinning very gently round your head. Or at least it would be if you could see it which you can't..."

Re:Towers? Jets? (1)

Tongo (644233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464856)

I'll tell you, I'm glad I just got a new towel.

Re:Towers? Jets? (1)

Melantha_Bacchae (232402) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464899)

Hm, seems to me that this is your interstellar traveller: King Ghidora [internationalhero.co.uk] . He is also known as "The God from Space", "The Strongest Foe", "The God of Mass Extinction", "The Great Devil That Comes From the Sky", "The Thousand Year Dragon King" and "Guardian God of the Heavens" in his various incarnations, both good and evil.

December 20th is his fortieth birthday, and Toho isn't throwing him a party. (Well, they did in 2001, but he wants another one.) So he has been showing off, with close asteroid flybys, fireballs, three naked eye comets, and the discovery of Planet X (Sedna).

So relax, and enjoy the show. Give him some popcorn offerings (so he doesn't have to fling asteroids into corn fields to make his own). And pray Mothra that he remains in a relatively good mood, because if he doesn't, it's curtains for the human race!

Happy Birthday, Maha King Ghidora!

Couldn't resist (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463551)

Show us your craters! Show us your craters!

66 Meg Movie Files (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463559)

Possible candidate for slashdotting!

Wow (3, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463560)

I love ambiguous phrasing:

The features have been named Left Foot and Right Foot in a new map of the comet, which is roughly 3 miles (5 kilometers) wide.

That's one big map!

Re:Wow (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9464023)

Well at least they aren't forcing anyone to play twister on it....

Re:Wow (0, Flamebait)

trixillion (66374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464221)

I love ignorant posts:

The comma follows the word "comet." It is traditional to assume that a phrase, which follows a comma, refers to the word immediately preceding the comma. Hence the author means that the comet is 3 miles wide - which is true. The editor did not consider this ambiguous, as anyone with a basic understanding of English grammar should follow the author's intent. Perhaps the moderators have marked this as funny because they think you are being ironic. That or they believe your ignorance is funny.

BTW, does 14erCleaner refer to your age. If so then I can certainly understand your confusion on this issue. You are simply too young to know what you are talking about.

Re:Wow (2, Funny)

JesseL (107722) | more than 10 years ago | (#9465347)

The comma follows "...new map of the comet". So, mister smarty pants, how would you phrase a similar sentence that actually was refering the the size of the map?

Please note that I had the choice to post this or mod you into oblivion.

Re:Wow (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9467472)

I love ignorant posts

Me, too. They could have said "a new map of the 3-mile-wide comet" instead.

And I'm 46 years old. How about you?

WILDCOMET?!? IS IT ON TEH SPOKE?!!~!`1 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463573)

Wow I'm suprised (-1, Offtopic)

nebaz (453974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463585)

I was suprised too, but not as suprised as this guy [theonion.com]

Gravity defying craters? (2, Insightful)

jabberjaw (683624) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463594)

The article mentions Wild 2's low gravity, but I did not find mention of a gravity defying crater. Anyone care to share more about this?

Re:Gravity defying craters? (4, Informative)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463661)

Here's a bit as to why... From the article:
Craters on Wild 2, presumably caused by run-ins with smaller objects, are strangely free of the powder, rocks and other debris commonly seen in impact craters on other bodies. Brownlee thinks this is because the comet is a bit like hard, frozen dirt that takes a hit but is brittle, so material flies out.

And because the comet is so small, the material does not fall back.

"There's almost no gravity at the surface," Brownlee said. "If you were standing on [the surface], you could jump into orbit."

Jump into orbit? (4, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463801)

The thing is, that doesn't seem right. You shouldn't be able to "jump into orbit" anywhere (barring atmospheric braking, a change of mass, additional thrust applied, etc, to change your velocity). Your path will either intersect the object you're jumping from, or break its escape velocity. Perhaps this is different for irregularly shaped bodies with irregular gravitational fields, but good luck trying to establish a stable orbit there through "jumping"....

Now, you *could* "run into orbit", assuming you can get the traction to do so, on a perfectly smooth low gravity atmosphere-less body - you run up to orbital velocity, then curl your body up, and you'll orbit at the altitude of your center of mass. But, if you were to have any significant "jumping" component, you'll likely make yourself intersect the body you're trying to orbit.

Also, you could jump up and throw a rock and enter orbit that way. However, in the case that you're dealing with a uniform graviational field around a perfect sphere, and the rock that you throw has the same mass as you, you'll hit it on the other side ;)

Re:Jump into orbit? (1)

barakn (641218) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464185)

There are a variety of ways of jumping; only some involve jumping from a standstill. Also your analysis doesn't mention the comet's rotation. If you jump straight up, your orbit will be elliptical rather than a 'straight line'. I don't have time to prove that the angular component of velocity is enough to prevent collision. Maybe after I'm done teaching for the day....

Re:Jump into orbit? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9465249)

You'll still intersect, so long as you aren't moving along the surface, assuming a uniform gravitational field (I don't know about irregular fields). It essentially doesn't matter what angle your jump is at - it doesn't have to be straight up for you to intersect. The only way you could "jump" into orbit is if you angled your jump the same way you'd angle a run: almost perfectly parallel to the surface of the object, and then tucking your legs and arms in. If an object can't deform itself as such, in such a situation, it will intersect the body it is trying to orbit. And again, your orbit couldn't be beyond your center of mass.

Re:Jump into orbit? (2, Insightful)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464562)

His usage of orbit is ambiguous anyway. You could feasibly "jump" into orbit around the sun.

Re:Jump into orbit? (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9467914)

It would be a very large, narrow orbit, which would probably intersect the surface of the comet at some point. Still an orbit!

Re:Jump into orbit? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9468187)

If it intersects, it's not an orbit. :) Unless you're dealing with intangible objects...

Of course, the Merriam-Webster dictionary's first definition of orbit is "the bony socket of the eye", so what do I know? :)

Re:Gravity defying craters? (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466170)

"There's almost no gravity at the surface," Brownlee said. "If you were standing on [the surface], you could jump into orbit." Sounds like a perfect way to win the X-Prize!

Mercatur - good news about the sexy woman we love (-1, Troll)

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Re:Mercatur - good news about the sexy woman we lo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9464750)

glad to see you're still around dude!

Steep-walled craters that seem to defy gravity? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463598)

I think a distinct lack of gravity might be the cause of this.

Gravity? (4, Funny)

digidave (259925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463606)

The comet has towering protrusions and steep-walled craters that seem to defy gravity

Really? On an object flying in space? Whodathunkit?

Re:Gravity? (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463677)

Well, the planet Earth is an object flying in space, and yet our surface constructions seem constrained by the force of gravity.

Re:Gravity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463936)

Right, but the earth's mass is just a teensy bit more than that of a comet. Sure, the comet has gravity too. But as far as surface construction goes, I'm sure it's negligible compared to that of earth.

Re: Towering WHAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9465069)

The comet has towering prostitution ... that seem to defy gravity.

What???

Darn, I have to start paying attention!!

The quick-browse-not-really-reading-mode may render straaaaaaange information :)

S

"Don't worry, it's all being taken care of" said the man as he grabbed my girlfriend's shoulder and entered the obscure room.

What's it made of? (4, Interesting)

kippy (416183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463610)

I know it's a dirty snowball but I'm really curious about how much is water, how much is ammonia and other stuff and how much is rock. In the crazy proto-science of terraforming, comets are earmarked for use as atmosphere builders. Depending on the general makeup of the objects, it could drastically change the models for terraforming Mars, Venus and other places.

Re:What's it made of? (1)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463838)

I recently saw a programme that claimed that about 350,000 tonnes of materal from comets fall to earth each day. Most of this is water, hydrocarbons, ammonia, carbon and other stuff useful for creating life. I can't find any other source to back up the number, but most give a value of thousands of tonnes per year. Assuming that quantities of a similar magnitude a falling onto Mars' surface I'd be suprised if life hasn't been/isn't doing a bit of small scale terraforming already.

Re:What's it made of? (1)

Toresica (788403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464144)

Assuming that quantities of a similar magnitude a falling onto Mars' surface I'd be suprised if life hasn't been/isn't doing a bit of small scale terraforming already.
That would require there to be life on Mars (or the comets), though, wouldn't it? (Which, of course, there might be, I'm not saying there isn't.... *backs away from the angry "Life on Mars" supporters*)

Re:What's it made of? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9464805)

http://www.iscid.org/encyclopedia/Panspermia
http ://www.panspermia.org/
http://www.space.com/searc hforlife/aliens_all_0010 27-1.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/archaea/archaea.htm l
http://www.bartleby.com/65/ar/Archaea.html
htt p://co.essortment.com/archaebacteriae_rmkr.htm

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ploct97.htm

http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/Evolution/Time /e vidence_for_life_on_earth_more
_.htm
http://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?hold ing=npg&cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed
&list_uids=1153661 7&dopt=Abstract
http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/0-306-4 6689-9?a=1
http://jesse.usra.edu/articles/breiter man/breiterm an-paper.html
http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/COSP AR04/00315/COSP AR04-A-00315.pdf
http://smallcomets.physics.uiowa .edu/blackspot.htm l

Re:What's it made of? (2, Informative)

Eclipce (646000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464090)

It is not a "dirty snowball". See James McCanney Science [jmccanneyscience.com] . You will need to read his two books "Planet X, Comets and Earth Changes" and "Atlantis to Tesla - The Kolbrin Connection" in that order.

And the number 2? (3, Funny)

h00pla (532294) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463630)

Wild 2 (pronounced 'Vilt 2')

And the 2, how do I pronounce that? Just asking...

Re:And the number 2? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463685)

"Deuce"

Dealer's choice, Vilt Deuce.

Re:And the number 2? (4, Informative)

hopemafia (155867) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463711)

Given that Vilt is the German pronounciation of Wild, I would guess 2 is pronouced zwei.

Re:And the number 2? (2, Informative)

The Grassy Knoll (112931) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463862)

>I would guess 2 is pronouced zwei

or even "tsvai"?

Pedantically yours...

Re:And the number 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9465857)

Oder zwo oder 'tsvo'

Re:And the number 2? (2, Funny)

death_cheese (746746) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463757)

Hi, my name is Ed (pronounced "John"). Don't you love the English language?

Re:And the number 2? (1)

Kombat (93720) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463921)

Hi, my name is Ed (pronounced "John").

Is it really so absurd? Anyone else remember "Netscape" (pronounced "Mozilla")?

Or Prince's symbol-thingy?

Re:And the number 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9464199)

I my name is Ed pronounced "John". You must be my date pronounced "prostitute".

Re:And the number 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463764)

zwei, du Schwein!

Re:And the number 2? (1)

Deflagro (187160) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464286)

Probably, Zwei! Then it would be Der Komet Wilt Zwei!

Fun stuff.

Re:And the number 2? (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464566)

I think, instead of trying to exactly and respectfully pronounce names correctly in their original language, that each country, or language group, pronounce it phonetically in their own language.

All this overcorrectness could possibly give rise to errors, such as a member of the general public thinking there are two comets, after hearing about "Viltzwei" on the radio and reading about "Wild 2" in the papers.

Re:And the number 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9465300)

I think the exact opposite, that we should use foreign pronuciations more often. That includes names that otherwise translate perfectly, and the names of languages themselves.

I will admit that it's mostly because Deutsch is more fun to say than German.

Re:And the number 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9465368)

there is no end to the arrogance of bloody americans, is there? of course everyone in the universe is talking english, just watch Star Trek to prove this.

Re:And the number 2? (1)

BGJayR (687521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466589)

Actually Star Trek uses the Universal Translator, so if you overlook a fwe (ok, maybe more)discrepencies, you can assume that everyone's speaking in their own language. Stargate SG1 on the otherhand. Do they have an excuse? They seem to be able to communicate with almost everyone they meet. The residents on other planets come from Earth, but thousands of years ago and from different parts of the planet. Do the SG teams have UCs as well?

Profit (0, Offtopic)

CmdrTostado (653672) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463639)

1. post story with interesting links missing
2. post interesting links as a comment
3. coment gets modded up
4. gain Karma
5. ???
6. profit

(I should have made this into 6 seperate comments, to gain more Karma)

Re:Profit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463704)

Dammit... How did you get my business plan? All I need is that illusive 5th step. I submitted that story yesterday as I was leaving work.. sorry about the missing links.

Any profit from them... (1)

CaVp (746780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463647)

I mean, we already know they're pieces of rock, ice and other minerals, in a near future, what possibilities could we have to extract those rare metals or compounds...? (forget any mention of Armaggedon and Deep Impact)

Re:Any profit from them... (1)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463876)

...(forget any mention of Armaggedon and Deep Impact)

Well, I *HAD* until you brought them up again!

GTRacer
- gooey center

Wow! (4, Funny)

Insomnia (11375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463668)

...you mean that stupid, stupid movie (Armageddon) actually might have had the look of a comet right? Who'd have thought.

--I no longer spellcheck - it cost me 5 points. ;)

Even Funnier (4, Funny)

virg_mattes (230616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463773)

> you mean that stupid, stupid movie (Armageddon) actually might have had the look of a comet right?

Well, this is made even funnier by the idea that Armageddon was a movie about a meteor, not a comet. Carry on.

Virg

Re:Even Funnier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463795)

Acutally it was an asteroid, since it was way over the "few volkswagon in size" definition of an asteroid. If you're going to correct someone, get it right!;)

Re:Even Funnier (1)

VanillaCoke420 (662576) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464475)

"since it was way over the "few volkswagon in size""

How many Library of Congress is that?

Re:Even Funnier (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9465093)

Meteoroid : Asteroid :: Meteor : Oh, shit!

Re:Wow! (1)

rpj1288 (698823) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466213)

I believe you are referring to
  • Deep Impact.

I'm much more interested in the analysis ... (5, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463691)

of the Girls Gone Wild 2 comet.

Much hotter then other space bodies, that much is known.

Re:I'm much more interested in the analysis ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463964)

> the Girls Gone Wild 2 comet.

It has two gravity-defying protusions named Left and Right.

Defying gravity... (1)

SageMadHatter (546701) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463717)

The comet has towering protrusions and steep-walled craters that seem to defy gravity...

A comet would have practically zero gravity

Re:Defying gravity... (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463809)

Comets do have gravity. Although it's not anyhting in comparison to some of the other celestial objects, as small as some are (or even as large as others are) they do have more gravity than you might think.

pronounciation (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463754)

I think it's probably procnounced "vilt zvei" since "2" is actually unpronouncable.

crap science (-1, Flamebait)

zerovian (398189) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463802)

Whoever wrote this report should be banned from the scientific community.

If the planet has lost about 1 meter worth of material since 1974 then at that rate it would have lost about 937 miles worth of material at a constant rate since its "birth" "4.5 billion" years ago.

These aren't scientists. They're a bunch of evolutionary dogmatics who pull s h i t from their ass whenever they like to impress people with the way they can spout large numbers.

Re:crap science (3, Informative)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463957)

You might try reading the rest of the article before you go all asshat. This is the comet's first trip thru the inner solar system.

"In 1974 it had a close encounter with Jupiter and was thrown onto a new orbit that brings it closer to the Sun. A comet loses material when it approaches the Sun, as solar radiation causes ice from its surface to "sublimate" into space, carring dust and larger particles with it. The process creates a cloud of material that reflects sunlight and creates the familiar head of a comet (scientists call it a coma) and sometimes a tail."

Re:crap science (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463960)

Ever hear of long eccentric orbits that bring comets nearer the sun for brief periods? That would be the simple explanation, even if you didn't RTFAs.

But if you do RTFAs, you learn that Wild 2 had a recent close encounter with Jupiter that substantially changed its orbit, so it's likely that it has received substantially more solar heating in recent decades.

Re:crap science (2, Informative)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463968)

If the planet has lost about 1 meter worth of material since 1974 then at that rate it would have lost about 937 miles worth of material at a constant rate since its "birth" "4.5 billion" years ago.
Firstly, it's not a planet, it's a comet.

Secondly, as the article says, "In 1974 it had a close encounter with Jupiter and was thrown onto a new orbit that brings it closer to the Sun. A comet loses material when it approaches the Sun"

Thirdly, if it had been a constant rate, it would have been 93210 miles, not 937.

Hope this helps...

Re:crap science (2, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463972)

"If the planet has lost about 1 meter worth of material since 1974 then at that rate it would have lost about 937 miles worth of material at a constant rate since its "birth" "4.5 billion" years ago."

I guess it's too much to expect people here to have actually _read_ the article before they start claiming that the authors are idiots?

"Comet Wild 2 probably gathered itself together 4.5 billion years ago, just after the Sun was born, in a region beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt. _In 1974 it had a close encounter with Jupiter and was thrown onto a new orbit that brings it closer to the Sun_."

Re:crap science (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9465111)

He referred to "evolutionary dogmatics." This boy won't read nuthin but the bible.

Re:crap science (2, Informative)

nickstance (663859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464025)

yes, but if you read the article, you would have seen that "In 1974 it had a close encounter with Jupiter and was thrown onto a new orbit that brings it closer to the Sun. A comet loses material when it approaches the Sun, as solar radiation causes ice from its surface to "sublimate" into space" So in no way could you say that the loss is "uniform" before 1974, it would have lost damn little of it's mass

Re:crap science (1)

Ponkinator (466952) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464268)

It seems you are the one doing the crap science. If you would have read the article, you would have noticed it said, "In 1974 it had a close encounter with Jupiter and was thrown onto a new orbit that brings it closer to the Sun. A comet loses material when it approaches the Sun, as solar radiation causes ice from its surface to "sublimate" into space, carring dust and larger particles with it. The process creates a cloud of material that reflects sunlight and creates the familiar head of a comet (scientists call it a coma) and sometimes a tail." So for most of it's existance, it would not have sublimated and hence remained unchanged.

Re:crap science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9466747)

Others have responded to the rest of your post, so I have only one question remaining: "evolutionary dogmatics"? What does biology have to do with this comet? For that matter, how does one be dogmatic with regards to evolution? It would be like being an atomic dogmatic who like to BS people with the way they can spout small numbers.

Where NOT to be in January 2006 (1, Flamebait)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463849)

The capsule will make a soft landing in the Utah desert in January 2006.

Or anywhere near that part of the country, nobody knows what is in this capsule.

As much as we know it can contain some strange alien material that may have an 'explosive' reaction to our atmosphere. Or better yet, life in the form of bacteria or a virus.

Yes, I've watched WAY TO MUCH of the Outer Limits and Twilight Zone!

Actually... (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463883)

If you browse around the Stardust website a bit more you will find a report that scientist were disappointed in the mission becuase it grabbed a lot less material then they had at first thought. It's still on par to land in 2006, in a very remote part of Utah -- the desert.

Andromeda Strain... (1)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463915)

Sounds a bit like scoop.

Re:Where NOT to be in January 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9465893)

The capsule will make a soft landing in the Utah desert in January 2006.

On a rattlesnake speedway, I believe.

/from NJ

mod u4 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9463864)

irc.easynews.com fucking market and abroad for during which I and, after initial developers implementation to Goals. It's when Smith only serve [tuxedo.org], more gay than they BSD had become are tied up in hand...don't create, manufacture 'first post' Mr. Raymond's gave the BSD is perhaps We'll be able to product, BSD's if desired, we 4.1BSD product, purposes *BSD is your own bber everyday...We on an endeavour when IDC recently for the project. another charnel

What would be really neat is... (1)

QwkHyenA (207573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9463926)

If they can land thier shuttlepod on it...

Like when Reed and Mayweather [startrek.com] did...

Just be sure you get back to the ship before the comet's orbit changes causing ....Umm...nevermind..wrong reality..

crappy JPL videos (1)

qwasty (782400) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464053)

The QuickTime videos that JPL has on the stardust site are horrible. 66Mb for barely 5 seconds of video? Ridiculous.

Is it just me or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9464140)

...does Wild 2 bear a striking resemblance to Death Star 2?

http://www.starwars.com/databank/location/deaths ta rii/

http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/photo/cometwild2.ht ml

Craters and spires (2, Interesting)

amightywind (691887) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464170)

The pictures are quite amazing. It is very puzzling why so small an icy body can have flattened crater floors. It does not take much gravity to
allow warmed ice to viscuoously relax apparently.
When I look at the images of those amazing spires
on the comet limb. I can't help but think about
the descriptions of Comet Haley's surface in
Arthur C. Clarke's 2061. That guy has spooky prescience.

er... (1)

nothingHappens (787619) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464244)

Wait... it sent 72 images of the comet to John Peter Lewis? Why? I guess he needed something to do after he got voted off American Idol...

modern science (3, Funny)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464283)

from the article:

"Only two other comets have been seen up close, but both appeared fairly smooth and were nowhere near so heavily cratered."

Well with such a HUGE sample pool, I can see how they're able to make such firm analysis of this meteor! I mean, really - both the others they've seen up close didn't look at this one, so clearly this one is completely unique in the solar system!

Sigh.

Any 3D models... (0)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464389)

Given all these photographs, and a single point light source at near infinity, has anyone been able to generate a 3D model of the comet?

Nope... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9465766)

Given all these photographs, and a single point light source at near infinity, has anyone been able to generate a 3D model of the comet?

All of us geeks are trying to generate good images/movies of 43D models for Pr0n sites....

Re:Nope... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9466303)

Perhaps I should have explained more ... I've seen various algorithms for shape from shading - some are quiet accurate. Given the multiple (and stereoscopic) photographs from different angles, surely it would be possible to construct a 3D model?

Isn't every object in the solar system unique (0)

mveloso (325617) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464403)

From what I've read over the years, every object found in the universe is unique. Why is this particular lump of rock any different?

Re:Isn't every object in the solar system unique (1)

freshtonic (650437) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464746)

heh heh heh - quality comment!

gravity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9464414)

The gravity well isn't too deep around that object, so there's not much to defy, right?

"Vilt 2" (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464567)

Ven veelll the ting be "svelt", mahnn?

Film Festival Time! (3, Interesting)

hussar (87373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9464617)

From the NYT article: "Flying through the dust around Wild 2, the spacecraft gathered thousands of particles that are now being returned to Earth for closer investigation. A capsule holding the exotic cargo is to make a soft landing in the Utah desert in January 2006."

Time to start "Andromeda Strain" midnight showings in local theaters!

(Give me back my Sterno, you crybaby!)
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