Astronomers from the University of California system and Caltech anticipate using the largest optical telescope in the world to observe the comet and Jupiter in the near infrared. Using the Near InfraRed Camera(NIRC) and reflected light from the inner satellites and Jovian rings, they will study the thermal and temporal evolution of the bolide and fireball events. The composition and particle size distribution of the cometary fragments and dust will be determined by imaging the comet and Jovian ring system just prior to and during impact. The alteration of Jupiter's atmospheric chemistry by the upwelling caused by the fireball and the directdeposition of cometary material will be observed by using the NIRC in grism mode. The Keck telescope is located on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and operated by CARA (California Association for Research in Astronomy).
Dr. Imke de Pater