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Mars Orbiter Spies Comet ISON 41

astroengine writes "Scientists managing the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have released their first observations of the incoming Comet ISON. The MRO was commanded to turn away its perpetual Mars-ward gaze and point into deep space to capture its own snapshot of the famous comet. ISON is currently making its closest approach to the red planet, passing just 7 million miles from its surface. The first raw images were snapped on Sept. 29 when the object was 8 million miles from the planet and more images (taken on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2) are currently being processed."
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Mars Orbiter Spies Comet ISON

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  • Is a series of sequel movies to deep impact -- featuring Mars!

    All the graphics, none of the emotional impact.

  • When did (Score:5, Funny)

    by skovnymfe ( 1671822 ) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @06:20AM (#45023253)
    When did miles become a valid unit of distance in astronomy? Haven't we all agreed on a standard unit of measurement for all things science, such as the meter, by now?
    • At least they did not convert 11 million kilometers to 6,835,080 miles
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Oh, didn't you read the heading ? It says 'Spies', the regional prominence. Deal with it.

    • Re:When did (Score:5, Funny)

      by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Thursday October 03, 2013 @08:04AM (#45023555)

      It's a lot easier to picture 8 million miles than 13 million kilometres.

    • I converted the distance to ObamaCare units and you know can either pay 64 million a year or be penalized at a cost of 4 light sabers. Long live the Empire!
    • by cusco ( 717999 )

      Better than if they had used 'football fields', I suppose.

    • NASA is 97% furlowed. They probably got rid of their conversion guy. Your lucky you didn't get that in rubber duckies.
    • by arielCo ( 995647 )

      I believe the proper unit in this case is either earth-moon distances (33.3), or NYC-LA straight lines (3,265)

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      Metres are a bit small for measuring astronomical distances. For things inside the solar system the Astronomical Unit (AU) is used, (Its the average distance from the earth to the sun, (For americans, 93 million miles)

  • Miles? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 03, 2013 @07:32AM (#45023447)

    Can we make a rule that says non-metric units are completely banned from Slashdot? I'm from Omaha, but I use Metric because I care about science and math. This site is supposed to be for people like me, not people that are holding the United States back and putting as at manufacturing and STEM disadvantages relative to every other country on Earth by insisting on using inferior and obsolete forms of measurement.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Being from Nebraska I would figure you were still using furlongs...
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      FUCK YOU. Get over your self and your metricssssssss. The metric system is all but a memory for me and my comrades. Soon you bow to the assume power that is the Imperialist System. I can imagine a world free from the interference of the ten base system. US students don't need help going over to hex because they already us 12 base systems. This why we build the fastest computers by miles not kilometers. Because every other country is like oh, johnny can't figure out how many inches to a furlong. Here in this

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Please stop all this spy thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    One of the members of my astronomy society caught it in a 21" reflector yesterday morning. He said that it looked to be about 12th magnitude. Since it is an early morning object my ability to drag out my gear and see it is limited to the weekends and this weekend the weather looks bad for it. Hopefully soon.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 03, 2013 @08:49AM (#45023745)

    The Mars Orbiter is spying on Comet ISON? WTF? There isn't any privacy even in outer space?

    Someone needs to rein in the NSA now. You didn't fool anybody by slipping that extra "A" in your name. N(A)SA: lame attempt at hiding there.

  • When ISON orbit was first calculated, it was thought that it could hit Mars. I guess that is no longer the case, eh?

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor