1 AU = 1 Astronomical Unit = 149,597,871 kilometers
This interactive 3D orbital plotter has been developed to
show the trajectories of the Stardust-NEXT spacecraft as it
approaches and runs closely past comet Tempel 1.
The orbital path of the Stardust-NEXT spacecraft is shown in red
with the pink
portion of the trajectory being above the Earth's orbital
plane and the dark red portion being below this plane.
By running the orbital plotter forward in time, you will
note that the comet overtakes the spacecraft on February 14, 2011.
The planets are white lines, and the asteroid/comet is a blue line.
The bright white line indicates the portion of the orbit that is above
the ecliptic plane, and the darker portion is below the ecliptic plane.
Likewise for the asteroid/comet orbit, the light blue indicates the portion
above the ecliptic plane, and the dark blue the portion below the ecliptic plane.
Stardust-NEXT's orbit is shown in a pink/red color combination.
Orbit Viewer applet originally written and kindly provided by Osamu Ajiki (AstroArts),and further modified by Ron Baalke (JPL).