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EPOXI Mission News
stevesliva
post May 28 2008, 07:48 PM
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Looks like the Deep Impact list has been revived. Posting here for others to get back on board:

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EPOXI E-News #1 May 2008
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WELCOME BACK!

Did you know that the Deep Impact Flyby Spacecraft has a new assignment? The
EPOXI mission combines two exciting science investigations in an entirely
new mission that re-uses the Deep Impact spacecraft. The Extrasolar Planet
Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) investigation will observe stars
that have known transiting giant planets. The Deep Impact Extended
Investigation (DIXI) of comets observes comet 103P/Hartley 2 during a close
flyby in October 2010.

The education and public outreach team decided to get back in touch with our
Deep Impact friends and begin sending out newsletters again to keep you
informed of these two exciting investigations! During the two years since
our last newsletter for Deep Impact, the science team has stayed busy
continuing to do more analysis on the data collected in July 2005. The
science team also proposed and was awarded an extended mission teaming up
with a group from Goddard Space Flight Center.
EPOXI website: http://epoxi.umd.edu/
Mission Overview: http://epoxi.umd.edu/1mission/index.shtml
Press Releases: http://epoxi.umd.edu/7press/index.shtml
DI Results: http://deepimpact.umd.edu/results/

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MISSION STATUS

Dr. Deming, Principal Investigator (PI) for the EPOCh portion of the
mission, sends us the latest mission status report in which he tells us
about the current observing target GJ436. “This is an exciting time for
EPOCh, as we search for an exo-Earth orbiting a stellar neighbor of our
Sun!” reports Dr Deming. He also talks about the plans to observe a very
special planet in late May and early June.

Read his status report as well as past reports from other team members at
http://epoxi.umd.edu/1mission/status.shtml

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EPOCh TARGETS

The EPOCh component of the EPOXI mission will carefully study a small number
of stars in order to learn more about planets that we know are orbiting
those stars by watching the planets as they transit (cross in front of) the
star. EPOCh will also search for clues to other planets that might be
orbiting the same stars.

Read more about the EPOCh science targets to find out which stars are being
observed.
http://epoxi.umd.edu/2science/targets.shtml

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PLANET QUEST

Are we alone?
For centuries, human beings have pondered this question. Medieval scholars
speculated that other worlds must exist and that some would harbor other
forms of life. In our time, advances in science and technology have brought
us to the threshold of finding an answer to this timeless question.
The recent discovery of numerous planets around stars other than the sun
confirms that our solar system is not unique. Indeed, these "exoplanets"
appear to be common in our galactic neighborhood.
The EPOCh investigation is part of a larger family of missions studying
extrasolar planets. Learn more at the Jet Propulsion Lab Planet Quest Web site.
http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm

**********************************************************************
OBSERVING CHALLENGE

The transits that will be studied for EPOCh are extremely difficult to
observe because the change in brightness is very small and requires high
precision photometry that can be accomplished with instruments on the Deep
Impact spacecraft. Observers on Earth can still take a look at the stars in
the night time sky. The selected stars are also pretty dim because we don’t
want them to saturate or over expose the spacecraft instruments but they are
bright enough to be visible in amateur telescopes if the sky conditions are
good and the skies are dark.

Like people, stars have multiple identifiers. EPOCh’s first target was a
star labeled as HAT-P-4 by the scientists observing it. They made their own
list of target stars so that was their shorthand name. But HAT-P-4 has
numerous other names which are more useful in identifying it in other databases.
HAT-P-4 = SAO 64638 = TYC 2569-1599-1 is a magnitude 11, G-class star
located in the constellation Boötes.
Chart: http://epoxi.umd.edu/2science/challenge.shtml

**********************************************************************
SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

Please forward this e-mail to others interested in NASA missions. New
subscribers may join the EPOXI Mission e-news mailing list on our website
at: http://epoxi.umd.edu/6outreach/newsletter.shtml
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mps
post Jun 3 2008, 07:31 PM
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EPOXI's Spacecraft Observes the Earth-Moon System
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tedstryk
post Jun 4 2008, 12:37 AM
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Wow, it got a beautiful shot. I can't wait for the raw data release.



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CAP-Team
post Jun 4 2008, 10:48 AM
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Here's a simulated view:

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tedstryk
post Jul 4 2008, 04:40 PM
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I still can't wait for the raw data. There really is a lot of data in the images. For example, here is a cleanup of a view of the moon from shortly after launch.

Attached Image


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tedstryk
post Jul 4 2008, 06:43 PM
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Here is the earth moon shot using the same technique I used on the lunar shot.

Attached Image


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Paolo
post Jul 19 2008, 07:50 AM
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Two papers about EPOXI published yesterday by arxiv:
The NASA EPOXI mission of opportunity to gather ultraprecise photometry of known transiting exoplanets
Preliminary Results on HAT-P-4, TrES-3, XO-2, and GJ 436 from the NASA EPOXI Mission


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

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Rich
post Mar 19 2009, 08:46 PM
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As a member of the EPOXI flight team, I am astonished that this data has been made public yet. The EPOCh portion of EPOXI finished 8/31/08 (photometry of transiting hot-jupiters and observing Earth as an exo-planet analog). The science team has had over 7 months to analyze the data and the only thing made public is the lunar transit animation. Granted, that's pretty sweet, but you'd think they would release some more data.

I met Doug (UMSF founder) on Tuesday (3/17) when he was here at JPL. I'm impressed with what you all are doing on the site with MER data, among the other missions. I'd love to see UMSF participate real-time with the Hartley-2 flyby similar to the DI prime mission flyby of Tempel-1.

Let me talk with our Public Outreach people and our science team and I'll see if I can get any data released to the "world". What exactly would you guys want? .jpgs? raw binary images? Please let me know and I'll see if I can get any data released.

Many thanks and keep up the great work! I always like to see people excited about EPOXI when most people at JPL don't even know we exist!

~Rich

p.s. we just published a paper on how we did the EPOCh observations at the 2009 IEEE Aerospace Conference. I'm not sure if the paper is available to the public free-of-charge, but I'll see if I can get a copy of the paper and presentation out...
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ugordan
post Mar 19 2009, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (Rich @ Mar 19 2009, 09:46 PM) *
Let me talk with our Public Outreach people and our science team and I'll see if I can get any data released to the "world". What exactly would you guys want? .jpgs? raw binary images? Please let me know and I'll see if I can get any data released.


I'm waiting for the lunar transit images myself. I read the archival plan document which stated EPOCh data was supposed to be delivered to PDS back in October so I was expecting the peer review and release to come in January. It's now March and still no luck. Is there perhaps a delivery planned for April or is it postponed indefinitely?


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Stu
post Mar 19 2009, 08:55 PM
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Welcome aboard Rich, good to have you here! smile.gif Anything you can drop into our eager little hands will be greatly appreciated!


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elakdawalla
post Mar 19 2009, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE (Rich @ Mar 19 2009, 12:46 PM) *
Let me talk with our Public Outreach people and our science team and I'll see if I can get any data released to the "world". What exactly would you guys want? .jpgs? raw binary images? Please let me know and I'll see if I can get any data released.


Of course image processing mavens dislike JPEGs because of the compression artifacts, but raw binaries are inaccessible except to a few people with the technical knowledge necessary to open them. A good compromise is PNG, which most browsers display just as easily as JPEG (so it's accessible to the less-skilled) but which don't suffer from compression artifacts. (PNGs can also be 16-bit, while JPEGs max out at 8 bits per channel. I haven't looked into the DI camera system lately so I don't recall what bit depth it's capable of and don't know whether that matters.) On top of that, metadata for each image is valuable, starting with the simplest stuff like date/time of the observation, target, and filter choices. Some of the more skilled people here will gladly ingest whatever metadata you can get away with releasing -- either as detached headers for each image, or just one text file containing the data for all the images, like you get with the PDS INDEX.TAB files, will make people here jump for joy.

--Emily


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dmuller
post Mar 20 2009, 12:35 AM
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QUOTE (Rich @ Mar 20 2009, 07:46 AM) *
Let me talk with our Public Outreach people and our science team and I'll see if I can get any data released to the "world". What exactly would you guys want? .jpgs? raw binary images? Please let me know and I'll see if I can get any data released.


Hello Rich, welcome to UMSF. I am running realtime simulations for current interplanetary spacemissions, including EPOXI, so I am greatly interested in up-to-date SPICE kernels to extract trajectory data (spk_od224_NoBurn-full.bsp is the current file, right?) and/or in up-to-date Horizons data (which seems to be there). I also include a mission timeline, so I am very keen on any mission events (TCM's, particular observations, etc) that I can include in the timeline, preferably in advance of them happening.

I have noted that EPOXI is not on the Solar System Simulator (http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/) ... Deep Impact is but gives an error if you enter today's date ... which I think would be a good tool to have (both for the general public and to incorporate images into my simulations). So maybe you could suggest to the team at the Solar System Simulator to have EPOXI enabled :-)

Good luck with your mission!



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Rich
post Mar 23 2009, 05:11 PM
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Daniel, the SPICE kernel you have is slightly out of date. Your version was generated before TCM-14 without the TCM-14 burn. You want to be using spk_drm224_Burn-full.bin That's the latest and greatest o.d. solution. Where are you getting these by the way? Are they public?

I sent an e-mail to the webmaster for space.jpl.nasa.gov and asked him to add EPOXI. He hasn't gotten back to me, but I hope we'll get EPOXI in there.

I talked to the P.I. about getting EPOCh images released to the public. They're thought is, "why should we release them is no one will want to look at them because they're ugly, fuzzy images, especially in .jpg format." The data should be published to the PDS next month and made public about a month after. So, images around May perhaps... don't hold your breath.

Oh, and we're going to do another Earth observation of the North pole on Friday 3/27/09. It should give us some more pretty pictures smile.gif

~Rich
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Paolo
post Mar 23 2009, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE (Rich @ Mar 19 2009, 09:46 PM) *
p.s. we just published a paper on how we did the EPOCh observations at the 2009 IEEE Aerospace Conference. I'm not sure if the paper is available to the public free-of-charge, but I'll see if I can get a copy of the paper and presentation out...


I would definitely be interested in seeing it!


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

James Van Allen
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Rich
post Mar 23 2009, 08:27 PM
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QUOTE (Paolo @ Mar 23 2009, 11:49 AM) *
I would definitely be interested in seeing it!



I called the ethics office on Thursday. I don't know the legalities of posting it here. I think I can get the presentation here, but I'm not sure about the paper. I'll get them up as soon as I know if it's legal. The paper is entitled "The Contingency of Success: Deep Impact's Planet Hunt" published at the 2009 IEEE Aerospace Conference in Big Sky, MT if you want to search for it. If you find a url to it, be sure to post it here.

~Rich
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