Meech is a member of the science team for the Deep Impact Mission. She
is in charge of coordinating all the ground-based observing support for
the mission. This includes proposal writing, observing, data reduction
and analysis, in order to characterize the nucleus of the target,
9P/Tempel 1. The main opportunities for target characterization are:
- Albedo / size - Needed for imaging nucleus at encounter,
determination of mass/density. We require simultaneous optical and IR
observations, preferably when the comet is inactive. Observations were
obtained during Aug 2000 for this and have given a preliminary nucleus
size. The next opportunity will be with SIRTF in 11/04, and then in
May 05 from the ground.
- Coma Development - Needed to develop good dust models of the
nucleus. The best strategy will be to observe it every couple months
from 10/02 through 5/03, then 9/03 through 7/04.
- Nucleus Rotation - This is very important for the targetting of
the impactor and imaging sequence planning. An extensive international
campaign using the following telescopes was conducted during the fall of
2000. Additional campains to solve the rotation are being planned for
Fall (Nov) 2001, Dec 2001 and Jan 2004.
- Gas Abundances / Spectroscopy - The goal of the
spectroscopic observations is to determine the changes in natural
activity due to the impact. 9P/Tempel 1 has had variations in
outgassing from apparition to apparition, so it would be nice to
monitor this as well as variations during one rotational period.
Radio/mm - molecules of primary interest: H2O, CO, CO2, HCN . It
will not be possible to get CO, even from Mauna Kea, however HCN should
be monitored between 3/2005 through impact.o Optical spectroscopy
should begin in Jan 2004.