Scientists are stumped by the behavior of the comet Tempel 1 after NASA sent the Deep Impact space probe hurtling into it last year some 83 million miles (133.5 million kilometers) from Earth.
The flare that resulted from the July 4 2005 collision was originally measured by optical telescopes as being a weak, five-day-long burst.
This suggested that only a small amount of water and other material had been released after impact.
But an analysis of x-ray images taken after the collision indicates that the flare lasted for a full 12 days and released about 250,000 tons (226,800 metric tons) of water in the form of ice-covered dust grains.
"There was disappointment that Deep Impact didn't cause a major optical outburst, but it did cause an x-ray outburst. Why that is, we don't know,'' said Dick Willingale, an astronomer at the University of Leicester in England whose team operated NASA's Swift X-Ray Telescope.
Willingate's team is puzzled as to why the x-ray observations of the impact's aftermath do not match the observations made by optical telescopes.
"When everyone said it was over, we were [actually] at the peak. We were just taking the data,'' Willingale said. "We realized we had something strange happen, but we didn't understand why.
"The important thing is [the flare] lasted for 12 days,'' Willingale continued. "It shouldn't have done that. The water was coming off so fast, it should've disappeared after a day or so. We don't know why [the strong x-rays] persisted for so long.!!
The solution could be: that the deep impact made a temporary hole in the Comet crusty surface and uncovered the micro black hole x-ray radiation produced by the micro-Black hole Hydroxyl production around the nucleus.
THE FIRST X-RAY DISCOVERY OF COMETS.
X-Rays from Comet LINEAR Credit: Carey Lisse (STScI/UMD) et al., CXC, SAO, NASA
Explanation: Why do comets emit X-rays? First discovered during the passing of Comet Hyakutake in 1996, the reason a cold comet would produce hot X-rays has since remained a mystery. On July 14 2000, however, the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory was able to provide an image of passing Comet LINEAR, shown above, in enough detail to unravel the mystery. The key to the solution turns out to be the unusual wind of fast ions emitted by our Sun. These ions apparently collide with gas recently emitted by the comet and cause some ions to acquire a new electron. An electron that starts in a high-energy state will emit an X-ray as it falls in closer to the ion nucleus. As other comets move into the inner Solar System, this discovery should allow future study of the continually evolving gas cloud that surrounds comets as well as the composition of the solar wind.
THE MOST RECENT X-RAY OBSERVATION OF A COMET:
NASA SWIFT spots Lulin Comet: see:
This image of Comet Lulin taken Jan. 28 2009, merges data acquired by Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (blue and green) and X-Ray Telescope (red). At the time of the observation, the comet was 99.5 million miles from Earth and 115.3 million miles from the sun. Credit: NASA/Swift/Univ. of Leicester/Bodewits et al.
THE GRAIN PARTICLES OF COMET WILD 2.
About 10 percent of the mass of Wild 2 is estimated to be from particles transported out from hot inner zones to the cold zone where the comet formed. Researchers conclude that this is how these grains with unusual isotope ratios go incorporated into a comet.
Earlier research showed that the comet formed in the Kuiper Belt, outside the orbit of Neptune, and only recently entered the inner regions of the solar system.
But during its lifetime, Wild 2 gathered material that formed much closer to the sun.
This is an indication that Comets are not formed in the Kuiper belt but simply by solar interference and after black hole creation an Solar evaporating of its dirty ice nucleus will split and dye out like the Schoemaker comet.
From July 16 through July 22, 1994, pieces of an object designated as Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter.