Friday, February 08, 2008

Deep Impact Begins Searching for Extrasolar Planets

NASA recently announced that they had extended Deep Impact's mission to fly past another comet. This time it'll be Comet Hartley 2 on October 11, 2010. Just like the previous mission, Deep Impact - now renamed EPOXI - will be studying the surface of the comet with its suite of scientific instruments.

But between now and then, the spacecraft has some time to kill. So astronomers searching for extrasolar planets are calling it into service.

The spacecraft will be focusing its largest telescope at five stars, hoping to catch a glimpse of a planetary transit.

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