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Earth Gravity Assist Images

January 3, 2009 6:38 UT   January 14, 2009 0259 UT (January 13 6:59 p.m. PST)
Stardust-NExT spacecraft during Earth Gravity Assist flyby, 20 second CCD image on Jan. 03, 2009 at 6:38 UT NExT flyby plotted against SOAP view of Earth
Left: One of 20 one-minute CCD images taken on Jan. 03, 2009 at 6:38 UT of the SD-NExT spacecraft during Earth Gravity Assist flyby. Images were centered on the spacecraft, resulting in the streaked appearance of the background field stars. + Enlarge image
Right: Eleven 3-second exposures of the SD-NExT spacecraft at 15-second intervals showing the path of the spacecraft against the background stars on Jan. 14, 2009 at 2:59 UT (field of view is 4.5'x4.5'). + Enlarge image
Credit: Images taken by Bill and Eileen Ryan of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology from Magdalena Ridge Observatory using a 2.4-meter telescope.
January 12, 2009   January 12, 2009
Stardust-NExT spacecraft during Earth Gravity Assist flyby, 20 second CCD image on Jan. 03, 2009 at 6:38 UT   Stardust-NExT spacecraft during Earth Gravity Assist flyby, 20 second CCD image on Jan. 03, 2009 at 6:38 UT
Navigation camera images of the Moon were obtained on January 12 by Stardust-NExT as it performed a test of the periscope. The periscope will be used to view comet Tempel 1, in the direction of the spacecraft relative velocity vector, as the spacecraft approaches the comet February 2011. + Enlarge image   The Moon was imaged when viewed both through the periscope and off the periscope. Image quality was good in both cases indicating that the periscope was not damaged during its last use 5 years ago at the close flyby of comet Wild 2. These Moon images were obtained from a distance of about 1.1 million km (~650,000 miles) at a solar phase angle of 140°. The S/C was centered above 127° east longitude for these images, and the lit visible crescent spans from about 37 to 77 east longitude on the Moon including Mares Crisium and Fecunditatis and the bright Crater Stevinus. + Enlarge image

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